Summer is quickly drawing to a close. Many of us view the passing of summertime with sadness. Summer is traditionally the season of freedom and play, a throwback to our younger days when school was finally over. We enjoy the longer daylight and the warmer weather even as adults. In the summertime, we might visit local farmers markets more regularly, enjoy eating our favorite summer fruits and vegetables, indulge in ice cream, dine outdoors, go on vacation and/or participate in many types of outdoor movement-walking, biking, hiking, running and all kinds of watersports. No wonder there’s a sense of loss as summer turns to fall.
I say, embrace the fall! Because with the change of seasons comes an opportunity to refresh your work-out program and eating habits. Reviewing and modifying your health and fitness routines seasonally is an excellent way of reinvigorating yourself. We are well aware that the days get shorter and the weather becomes noticeably colder in the fall. As football season starts and we hunker down in front of the TV with a beer and bowl of chips on the weekend instead of being outside, we may not notice our unhealthy eating and the lack of exercise until the scale registers the extra pounds.
Fall is the perfect time to check out the newest group fitness class in your gym or take that yoga class at your local studio that you’ve been meaning to get to. In my area, Washington DC, road races start up again in earnest. As the scorching heat and high humidity recedes, there’s an abundance of 5K’s, 10K’s, half marathons and marathons to choose from. Long walks and hikes can be much more appealing in the fall. Hiring a personal trainer can be a great way of learning new exercises and changing up your usual routine. Joining a running club or a bootcamp class or starting your training for ski season might be a lot more attractive now that summer is ending.
Adjusting your diet according to the seasons is a way of eating more mindfully. Apples, squashes and root vegetables are locally available. With the colder temps and shorter days, many people instinctively turn to hot soups and warm beverages like tea and mulled apple cider. Soups are relatively easy to assemble. With a good blender, you can whip up a veggie soup like sweet potato curry in a short amount of time. Healthy smoothies can also be made quickly in a blender. Hot tea, whether black, green, white or herbal, is very comforting on a nippy fall day. Hot grains can be a wise breakfast switch. Did you know that you can make a hot quinoa breakfast much like oatmeal?
Do you like scents? Lavender is know to relax and calm the body. Maybe you prefer the taste and smell of cinnamon or cardamom, both of which are easily added to your morning oatmeal. Chai tea has a wonderful bouquet of spices which can warm the body almost as well as the hot temperature of the tea. Plus the smell of all those spices can infuse your kitchen.
Fall is also a wonderful time to clean and reorganize your things and space-like papers, clothes, closets and individual rooms,
What are you holding on to that no longer serves you? What can be released or passed on to another? Changing your bed clothes is also wise. Perhaps it’s time for a new pillow or mattress or sheets.
Summer will be over soon. Now is the perfect time to take a moment and reflect on what fitness and diet changes you might like to make as fall approaches.