That chill in the air, that particular “crispness”? It’s fall again, the best time of the year to reevaluate your life, slow down, and make a change.
Summer was crazy, you’re exhausted, and you feel like you’ve run your body straight into the dirt, right?
Time to take back control and take a deep breath of cold, fresh, fall air. Autumn is filled with extra time to be spent how you see fit. And this pumpkin-spiced season is the perfect time to lose weight, get in shape, focus on your health, and feel good again.
Here are 4 ways to get the most fun, health, and happiness out of this upcoming sweater-season:
#1 Celebrate The Harvest
Every fruit and veggie is ripe, fresh, and tempting on August and September. Don’t miss a chance to stock up on your fiber, vitamins, and minerals without the help of any supplements.
Visit your local farmer’s market, or look around for a fresh produce vendor in your neighborhood. Aim to have a variety of colors on your plate because it’s the best way to cover your micronutrient needs without even thinking about it.
Prices of the fresh produce will be down, and nutrition value will be high. This is the time to break out all those fall spices and get excited for hearty soups and warm-you-up classics.
Each color represents a different group of micronutrients, and it’s essential to get as much of them as possible.
Seek out for deals on the colorful autumn harvest:
Red foods are high in vitamins C and A which eliminate free radicals in your body. Stock up on apples, beets, red peppers, cranberries, tomatoes.
Orange and yellow foods are high in carotenoids which are responsible for glowing skin and healthy hair. Sweet potato, pumpkin, butternut squash, carrot, oranges are in season!
Purple and blue foods are rich in lutein which helps with digestion and vitamin C. Get yourself some grapes, eggplant, figs, plums, purple cabbage.
White and brown foods are high in potassium that aids your heart, kidneys, and help manage stress. Enjoy mushrooms, cabbage, potatoes, radishes, parsnip, onion, and garlic.
Green foods are filled with antioxidants and vitamins that help you to boost immune system. Choose squash, broccoli, cabbage, Brussel’s sprouts, or artichokes.
How a veggie-rich diet helps with depression? A healthy diet is one of the fundamental elements that help you to ensure mental health and decreased the risk of developing depression symptoms.
Increasing the amount of fresh produce in your diet would ensure you eat less of junk food, stop stress-eating, and cover your nutritional needs.
#2 Stock Up For The Winter
If you have any fresh produce that you cannot use right away, get canning, freezing, and pickling! Even though you might lose some vitamins along the way, you will still have a healthier option from what’s offered in the supermarket.
You don’t know what kind of preservatives and additives you eat if your sauces and pickles come from a shop. You will always know what’s on your plate if you preserve it yourself.
Preserving your own food will always be the healthier option. Who knows, maybe you will start to grow your own food next year!
Which vegetables are easiest and simplest to preserve?
- Canning. Water bath canning doesn’t require complex equipment or technique. Choose tomatoes, peppers, beets, onions, cucumbers, or cabbage.
- Freezing. Frozen vegetables will keep the most vitamins and minerals. Freeze carrots, beans, cauliflower, corn, squash, or winter greens.
- Pickling. An all-time-favorite method that includes soaking food in salty or acidic liquid. Try pickling cucumbers, bell peppers, carrots, mushrooms or most other vegetables and berries.
#3 Sign up for a Fitness Class
School is back in session, and classes are starting up all over the country right now. Autumn is the best time to start a new hobby. Make sure it’s something challenging!
Just 30 minutes a day of exercising will help you reduce the symptoms of depression. While you work out, your body reacts to stress and produces hormones which ensure good mood and reduce anxiety.
TIP: Consistency is key. It’s better to workout 1-2 times a week for 3 months than to workout 4 times a week once and stop exercising altogether because it was too much to handle.
What kind of activities could you try?
- Fitness classes are an excellent excuse to stay in shape and get out of the house. Check out your local gyms – typically, the first class is free of charge.
- You can also work out at home: Youtube is full of free workout routines for beginners that do not require any equipment.
- Try out simple yoga exercises for improved flexibility. All you need is a yoga mat!
- Remember to stretch out your muscles throughout the day, especially if you work in the office.
- Sign up for a dance class together with your friends. Prepare to surprise everyone with new dance moves!
#4 Boost Your Immune System
The kids are heading back to school, you know what that means? Here come the coughs, fevers, and runny noses. Thanks to the downward change in temperature (and all of those booger monsters headed back to the classroom), cold and flu season will soon be upon us.
While the recent pandemic has taught us the key techniques for protecting ourselves from disease, such as frequent hand washing or coughing etiquette, it’s always smart to stay on the safe side and boost your immune system.
To boost your immune system, you will need to focus on getting enough Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin E over the fall.
While strong immune system is not a weight loss method, it’s still an excellent indicator which tells you if your diet is currently balanced.
What’s more important: prolonged illnesses are directly linked with a higher risk of developing depression. That’s one more reason to aim for a healthy immune system.
What can you do to boost your immune system?
- Get a daily drink of lemon water first thing in the morning. Not only it helps you to load up on Vitamin C but it also improves your digestive health.
- Review your diet. Load up on foods high in vitamin D like salmon, milk, mushrooms, and egg yolks. Half of your plate should always be covered in vegetables to get enough vitamin C. As for vitamin B6, aim to eat nuts, beef, starchy vegetables, and non-citrus fruit.
- Catch the sun. 10-30 minutes of sunshine a couple of times a week will help you lead up on Vitamin D.
- A daily multivitamin. If you still feel unwell, aim to get a daily high-quality multivitamin.
- A flu shot every year! Flu vaccines are the only sure-fire way to avoid getting sick. Get the shot each fall.
Need More Fall Wellness Ideas?
Fall is the perfect time to improve your habits and focus on your physical and mental wellness. Just look at these people who improved their health just in 28-days with a personalized health plan over September:
Skipping the Halloween candy and going easy on the pumpkin pie probably won’t be enough to get you to your health goals.
Complete a 60-sec quiz and learn how much weight can you lose this fall with a personalized wellness plan:
+ BONUS TIP: Sign up for a Turkey Trot
You know that during the Thanksgiving dinner, you will stuff yourself until you can’t move.
Almost every town has some kind of charity 5k, race, bike ride, or fun run sometime around Halloween or Thanksgiving. It might take a couple of months of preparation, but it’s worth it.
Instead of the usual Thanksgiving day tailgate full of fried turkey and hot dips, sign up for a local Turkey Trot. Usually it will be a short 3.1 mile / 5K run that allows you to choose your own pace. It’s beginner-friendly and you can complete it briskly walking.
On average a 5K run could help you burn 300-400 calories (around 100/mile).