The start of any season is a great opportunity to re-set your attitude to health and fitness. Autumn, with its cool mornings and milder days, is one of the best seasons for smashing your exercise and wellbeing goals. It’s not too hot; it’s not too cold. As Goldilocks would say, it’s just right.
Question is, how do you make the transition from summer into autumn? What do you replace that early-morning beach swim with, now that the sand is too cold to walk on? Or that amazing summer diet of fresh salads and smoothies? What do you do when it’s cold and dark outside, and you’re struggling to get out of bed?
If you need a little inspiration on how to be your best self this autumn, then read on.
Good morning, mindfulness
If the lack of daylight (or the colder temperature) is stopping you from hitting the beach or the streets early in the morning, you could replace your outdoor exercise regime with some precious mindfulness or meditation. If you’ve not done either before, there are loads of awesome apps available to guide you. Set aside 20-30 minutes first thing in the morning and you’ll be blown away at the difference it makes to your day.
New season, new moves
See the start of autumn as an opportunity to try something new on the exercise front. Perhaps it’s Pilates. Or weekend walks in the bush. Maybe it’s joining a gym so you can exercise regardless of the weather outside. Maintaining an exercise routine over the cooler months is important – Australia’s physical activity guidelines state that adults should aim to accumulate 150 to 300 minutes of moderate intensity exercise (or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous intensity) each week.
Goodbye caffeine, hello herbal
For many people, the colder months of the year are an excuse to drink more coffee. Don’t let a caffeine addiction get in the way of your best self. Replace your morning macchiato with a nourishing mug of herbal tea. Choose varieties that help relax your mind and body, or soothe your digestive system – like chamomile, ginger, hibiscus, mint and rooibos.
Embrace seasonal fare
As the season shifts, so should your diet. Soups are a wonderfully nutritious addition to your autumn menu. With the amazing array of recipes available online, you can explore exciting new flavours or fall back on old favourites. Pumpkin soup, anyone? Enjoy a wide variety of autumn’s best in-season fruit and vegetables – from apples and almonds to Brussel sprouts and blackberries – to help support a healthy gut. The more colour and variety, the better.
Even though the temperature is dropping, it’s still important to keep the fluids up. Adults should aim to drink roughly 2 litres of water a day – more if you’re exercising. (That herbal tea we mentioned above is a great contribution to your daily H2O goals.) As the air cools, you might also find that your skin gets dry and flaky; and your lips become dry and chapped. Pop a natural lip balm in your bag to keep your lips moist, and apply your favourite body moisturiser every day.