Reap What You Sow
Taking Full Advantage of The Fall
We reap what we sow; and after months of eating fresh, local summer produce and exercising outdoors we turn our attention to fueling ourselves for cooler days. We still have a few weeks left to show some love to our local farmers, fill our bodies and jars with the goodness of the season, and prepare our bodies and minds to stay fit and warm.
Taking full advantage of fall weather means we treat ourselves with a feast for the senses; crisp air to feel, crunch of leaves underfoot to hear, seeing the glorious fall foliage, smelling fresh apples, and tasting the bounty of autumn superfoods!
Movement momentum: you’ve been more active all summer long, and there is no reason to stop! Continue the same outdoor activities you enjoyed like walking, hiking, and cycling, with some extra layers of clothing (easy to remove as you will still build up a sweat after a few minutes). The parks and trails will be much less crowded and you can likely gather some more speed; remember that even though the sun isn’t beaming down on you as much, you still need to hydrate. Think outside the box – doing fall outdoor work will get both your body and your yard ready for winter!
Manage your mindset: exercise and proper nutrition boost our immune system to help prevent illness; and so does a healthy mindset! Studies have shown that optimism and happiness affect our bodies as well as our moods. As the hours of daylight decrease, those of us susceptible to mental health challenges such as seasonal affective disorder need to pay particular attention to our moods. Along with outdoor physical activity during daylight, make sure you take time to reflect on the past months and note the activities that bring you happiness. Ground yourself in the positive energy of a season that is filled with color and character.
Stock up on superfoods: stocking up on nutrient-dense foods will help keep our weight in check and fight diseases throughout the colder seasons ahead. Head to our local farmers’ markets on weekends and get cooking on cool nights! Autumn champions include apples, Brussels sprouts, parsnips, pears, rutabaga, cauliflower, squash, pomegranates, and of course pumpkins. Don’t forget their seeds; they are filled with heart healthy magnesium, immune boosting zinc, omega-3 fats, and tryptophan for restful sleep.
Preserving our energy: creating healthy sleep hygiene will ensure we make the most out of shorter days and transition well into restorative months. Sleep deficiency increases not only the risk of obesity, but also heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Creating an optimal sleep routine will therefore benefit our physical health as well as promote healthy brain function and emotional well-being. Our bedroom will be cooler in October which is a key component of a sleep-inducing environment along with total darkness and quiet. Remember as well that the boudoir is to be reserved for sleeping and intimacy; keep electronics and work-related items out, or at minimum off!
Nathalie Lacombe is the Vice President of canfitpro, the largest provider of education in the Canadian fitness industry. Nathalie also applies her uniquely vibrant presentation and teaching style to inspire and educate peers, clients, and participants. Her genuine joie de vivre is infectious to anyone who connects with her.