Summer is filled with fun, friends and getaways. And, although, we all want a “summer body”, we tend to take a vacation from our health goals in favor of the fancy-free summer life.
Autumn is officially here and it’s time to get back on track. But not everything about summer was bad for your health. Check out these 5 summer sentiments you should bring to your autumn wellness routine.
When the days get shorter, we may need to plan ahead to catch some rays. A mid-day walk or an early afternoon yoga session in the park may be just what you need to stay energized this fall. Sunshine signals the brain to slow the production of melatonin, a hormone that makes you feel sleepy. In general, regular high and lows of melatonin help us to sleep better, which has been linked to weight loss success, improved mood and more.
No matter what the season, nutritionists always recommend filling half your plate with fruit and vegetables. Eating more fruits and vegetables in place of higher-fat, more calorie-dense foods can reduce calories in your diet overall. Plus, vegetables and fruits are packed with nutrients that have been shown to lower cholesterol, reduce cancer risk, and help control blood pressure.
Take a look at what is in season this fall. Here’s a sneak peek of a few favorites!
• Butternut and acorn squash
• Brussels sprouts
• Sweet Potatoes
Take advantage of less crowded water ways as many folks get back to school activities and organized sports after Labor Day. Depending on your location, the water will hold some if its summer warmth for at least a few weeks, and maybe longer. That means there is still a great opportunity to get some exercise and fresh air out on the open seas (or lake!). Plus, wakeboarders, stand-up paddlers and kayakers are more likely to experience perfect glass-like conditions on the water, which are more common during the fall months.
We don’t think of drinking water as often once the weather cools off, but it is still essential to stay hydrated! After all, hydration promotes better digestion, more weight loss, and increased energy levels.
Throughout the year, stick with the Institute of Medicine general recommendation of 91 ounces of water daily for women and 125 ounces daily for men. Remember that water comes from both beverages - they account for 80% of water intake - and foods. Load up on vegetables, fruit, oatmeal, yogurt, soups and smoothies to aid with hydration.
You can probably think of 100 reasons to skip your gym workout, and here’s one more: outdoor hiking is good for your mental health! In experiments conducted at California State University, a 10-minute outdoor walk not only boosted energy, but the benefits lasted for up to two hours. And here’s a reason to stick with that daily 10-minute walk - when study participants kept up with the walks for three weeks, overall energy and mood was elevated. Now that’s something to look forward to!
Autumn is a time of grounding and focus. Set a short term goal to eat well and get back into your fitness routine, but don’t forget to incorporate the really healthy and inspirational things you did this summer. Your body will thank you!
What summer sentiments do you plan to bring to your autumn wellness routine? Share them here.
Author: Kristen Ciuba
Kristen is a Nutritionist at Diet-to-Go, based in Lorton, VA. She tries to “practice what she preaches” by fitting in healthy foods and cooking, challenging exercise, and quality time with family and friends every day!