Fall is the time of year when most of the animal kingdom is storing up food and extra fat layers for winter. That doesn’t mean we have to! Fall can be the perfect time to make some positive changes to your health and fitness routine – or start one!
My first successful weight-loss story (because there were a bunch of unsuccessful ones) began in the fall. More specifically, it began the week of Thanksgiving 2009. Yes, you read that right. I made one last ditch effort to change my life four years ago and I decided to begin three days before Thanksgiving.
I lost four pounds the week that most people gain that much.
There wasn’t some magic pill behind my success. I think it was just because I had something to prove that week and once I convinced myself I could do it, I just kept going. I lost nearly 90 pounds over the course of two years and am currently trying to learn to keep it off. (Which, despite what anyone may say, is much harder than getting it off in the first place.)
So, why is fall such a great time to begin to write your weight-loss success story? One of the best reasons is the fact that the cooler weather makes fall a great time for becoming more active. Whether you’ve been stuck in a stuffy gym all summer or have been pouring sweat being active outside, the crisp air and gorgeous colors lend a new excitement to getting outside for running, walking, biking, or whatever you enjoy.
If you have been active outdoors all summer, the lower temperatures make it easier to go farther and pick up the pace. Even if you live in an area of the country where fall is really cool, my outdoor workout philosophy is: When it’s cold outside I know I’m going to warm up once I get moving; when it’s hot outside, I’m only going to get hotter.
In addition to the cooler weather, the influx of a whole new batch of seasonal produce is the perfect catalyst for getting out of mealtime ruts. Apples, the quintessential fall fruit, make a delicious, healthy snack – as long as you’re not baking them in a pie or frying them in a fritter every time you eat them!
An apple along with a piece of string cheese, some yogurt, or peanut butter are all excellent choices.
In addition to apples, fall is a great time for soups. Most broth-based soups are good, healthy choices. With all of the fall produce, a veggie stew or even chili with lean meat (or no meat) makes a quick and easy lunch or dinner, especially when you add the convenience of a slow cooker.
Maybe one of the best reasons to revamp your health and fitness routine (or start one) is the simple fact that fall is followed by winter. You know what that means – Thanksgiving, Christmas parties, candy, baked goodies and a generally more sedentary season. If you start improving your exercise and eating habits now, they’ll be well on their way to becoming habit by the time temptations become abundant.
Not only that, but the darker, shorter days of winter can result in the onset of seasonal depression for many people. A healthy diet and regular exercise can go a long way toward alleviating those symptoms. It’s hard to convince yourself to eat right and exercise once those blue feelings have begun, but much easier if those good habits are already in place.
It doesn’t matter if you’re already somewhat active and eating well or if you haven’t even begun to make the changes you’d like to make. Fall is a great time to revamp your health and fitness routine – or start one! The sense of purpose can be very motivating.
What changes do you need to make to improve your overall health and activity levels?