Refresh your fitness perspective this fall
From pumpkin spiced lattes to cozy sweaters, fall represents a transitional time of the year. Later sunrises make sleeping in more inviting than early morning workouts, while cooler temperatures make comfort foods much more tempting. As hibernation mode sets in, the transition from summer to fall can be a challenge for schedules, motivation and diets.
Unfortunately for most, spending less time being active and more time indulging in fall goodies can wreak havoc – physically and mentally. But the start of fall doesn’t have to signify the end. Instead, use it as an opportunity to adopt a refreshed fitness perspective and the perfect time to keep your mental & physical health in check.
Supplement The Sun’s Goodness
Spending less time outdoors means your body receives less exposure to the sun - a natural source of vitamin D. Vitamin D is an important nutrient that affects mood and even helps improve symptoms of depression. Keep your mental health in check by adding 2,500 IUs of vitamin D to your day, especially during the colder months.
Up Your Workout Intensity
Shorter days can alter your body’s internal clock, making it hard to muster up workout-worthy energy. The good news is, when it comes to results, intensity matters most. Keep your fitness in check by squeezing in as little as 20 minutes of intense exercise, 3-4 days a week. From brisk walking to strength training, short, intense workouts can ward off fall weight-gain.
Boost Your Immune System Naturally
Exposure to viruses and stress can have an immediate and lasting affect on your immune system. Keep your physical health in check by eating more antioxidant-rich seasonal foods like apples, cauliflower, sweet potatoes and squash. The added vitamin C will support your body’s ability to prevent illness naturally, and help protect against infections.
Get Proactive with Your Health
Fall means the end of the year is quickly approaching. Scheduling medical, dental and eye care appointments before the year (and your benefits) expire is the key to avoiding new illnesses before they start and keeping existing illnesses from becoming worse. I, myself am thankful for an annual exam that allowed my own doctor to detect a thyroid-related autoimmune illness that could have been fatal.
Transitioning into fall doesn’t have to mean seasonal blues, flu viruses and extra weight. With proper nutrition, regular exercise and a restored outlook, you can take charge of your health and shift into your healthiest fall yet.
** Photographer Daniel C. White/Model Angel Scott