This may come as no surprise, but over the years it has become clear to me that people’s healthy habits falter (and disappear) the most when there is a change in their schedule. There tends to be no bigger change in someones schedule than when we transition from Summer to Fall. Temperatures change, kids’ schedules change, work schedules change, clocks change and so much more. Change can create a bit of chaos if we’re not prepared and when there is a bit of chaos, our health can take a hit. Fortunately, with just an hour or so of planning, you can win your Fall.
Prioritize Exercise in Your Schedule
If you do not do this, your exercise will disappear. If your’s or your kid’s schedule change interrupts your current exercise routine, you must plan new times to exercise before the change occurs. Write in your exercise times in your schedule as if they were Dr. appointments you can’t miss. Ideally, they are the same times each week. If that is not possible, every Sunday mark in your exercise slots for whatever works that week.
Plan for Activity Change
As the weather gets colder and darker, many of us won’t be able to do the activities that we did for exercise in the Summer. If you are a cyclist, runner or walker who doesn’t prefer the colder weather, create your indoor plan. Will you use a treadmill, go to an exercise class, join a gym, or use an app at home? Whatever it is, have the plan in place and build out your home exercise space before the weather forces that change. Or you could plan to try a new activity. For example, if you are a cyclist in the summer you may pick up hiking in the fall.
Find Incidental Exercise
Bottom line, we move less in the colder months. There is a lot of “incidental exercise” in the Summer. We walk to places more, tend to our flowers, pools, gardens, play more recreational sports or yard games with friends and the list goes on. We burn more calories with these activities in our lives each week and they add up! Even mowing the lawn is one hour of exercise per week that we will have to replace in the winter time. Your job is to start to think of how you will create incidental exercise as it gets colder. Examples could be parking the car further away, shoveling the driveway, taking the stairs at work and doing more projects inside the house. What are some you can think of?
Make In-Season Recipes
Now, you might say “Nick, how is just taking the stairs more going to keep off my winter weight?” and I would say it probably won’t by itself. But it will help. The other key is to keep our foods healthy and our portions proper. Last week we spoke about in-season produce as one way to eat well! The Fall has a lot of great in-season produce including: apples, figs, pears, beets, broccoli, eggplant, squash, sweet potatoes, and zucchini. Plan out some healthy, new fall dishes using those items!
Don’t let your healthy summer habits fall off a cliff. Take a moment to plan and win the Fall!
You got this!