Making the most of Autumn
The days are growing shorter and the leaves are starting to fall for autumn, with the change in season comes happy thoughts of bonfires, hot drinks and cozy comforting dinners.
There are also the shorter days and colder temperatures which can leave us feeling like we want to hibernate, not to mention seasonal cold and flu bugs that can cause us to feel pretty horrid. So, how do we make the most of this season and all it has to offer? Let’s look at turning cold into warmth this month by reviewing our mindset, nutrition and movement goals.
With every new season there is a new beginning, a chance to draw a line under the old and start fresh with the new. If you have wavered from your plans over the summer period then now is a great time to get back on track. This season may still remind you of those back to school days, let’s embrace that. Perhaps buy yourself a diary, planner or some sticky notes to help you track the changes you are working towards. This level of organisation and commitment to your goals can be just the thing you need for success.
If you feel the goals you have set yourself so far are working for you then stick with them! It can be a good idea to keep a mood diary to remind yourself of how great you feel when you stick to your goals and the lifestyle you want to live. This can be helpful for motivating you on days where perhaps you don’t feel as motivated.
How happy are you with the lifestyle you are currently living? Happiness is key to success so if things are leaving you feeling a bit flat at the moment can you talk to a friend or family member to try and understand why? Or even just writing down how you are feeling can be insightful for understanding where you could make changes to improve your overall wellbeing.
There are many benefits to making sure your nutrition is on point at this time of year. It can help you feel satisfied and full to be eating hearty meals with lots of vegetables; not to mention the added vitamins and minerals that will keep your immune system firing on all cylinders to ward off nasty bugs.
Did you know, a healthy gut makes for a strengthened immune system? To give your immune system that extra helping hand, boost your fiber intake by choosing wholegrain carbohydrates, lentils, pulses, nuts and a variety of fruits and vegetables.
As the weather gets colder, you might find yourself reaching for warming or comforting foods and wondering if these foods can be healthy. The simple answer is, yes!
Here are a few tips you might want to try:
- Think portion size
- Think about how much oil or other fats are used when cooking
- Be mindful of your salt intake
- Cook with high fiber foods like beans and pulses, they are great in stews/casseroles and will leave you feeling warm and satisfied
- Sneak in extra vegetables
- Think of healthy and tasty swaps you could make. For example, if you’re looking to lose weight, when you have a craving for chocolate, why not try a low-calorie hot chocolate rather than a cake or bar?
This time of year can be hard to get outside for a walk, jog or cycle now that the days are shorter, darker and colder. So, what can you control in this situation?
Well, it might be possible to change the time of day you go. If you normally head out early, could you go at lunchtime instead? Or if it’s normally walking that you opt for, why not walk on the spot in your home whilst watching the morning television or listening to the radio? This might sound strange, but steps are steps whether they are on the spot or walking forwards!
If you do this, you will obviously have a very flat surface so why not try increasing the speed, you can either do this for the duration of your walk or for short bursts. At Xyla we have our own chair-based activity routine you can follow in the comfort of your own home so if you’d rather stay inside where it’s light and warm give this a try.
Keeping with the back to school spirit, perhaps with the change in season you want to try something new? Health clubs, both private and community, will offer a range of classes that you can try. This is not only a great way to get moving but also a nice way to socialise. The dark evenings can make you less inclined to go out and feelings of loneliness can be amplified. You can take control of this by building in some activity into your routine that not only gets you moving but also talking and laughing with others.