I see you. Just today, you were just thinking, “I know I need to exercise more/eat healthier/get motivated.” You were hoping someone would give you a nudge. You don’t live in cave, though. You know what you need to do. You don’t want a sermon. You just need that little extra something-something to get moving. A sign from heaven, maybe. So, here you go. Consider this your nudge, your something-something, your sign from heaven.
1. The weather. Summer’s great and all. I mean, who doesn’t love Summer? But if you live anywhere south-ish, summer is too stinking hot to exercise past about 10 am. Unless you hate yourself, or you are in a pool (which, let’s be honest, is less about exercise and more about sitting on the edge with a magazine). Fall is a great time to lace up the shoes and walk or jog through the neighborhood or a park or the track at the local school. Also, walking is not only FREE exercise (yo, that means you don’t need a membership or DVDs or anything!), but it’s also one of the best forms of exercise you can do.
2. Fall fruits and veggies: Squash, pumpkin, Brussels sprouts, carrots, apples…maybe even some late-coming tomatoes! Head out to your local farmer’s market and buy something in season. Or go to your grocer and notice how CHEAP the in-season produce is. (← This means you save $$$$) Then take it home and serve it in something delicious.
3. Soup! Why, soup could be that delicious thing in which you serve your fresh in-season vegetables. If soup were the only reason to love Fall, then that would be reason enough for me. I like to call Fall “Soup Season.” (And also “Yoga Pant Season.” Soup tastes best if you eat it while wearing yoga pants. I swear. Go ahead and test my theory and report back your findings.) Soup is the answer to all your picky eating woes: Want to eat more veggies but don’t like salad? Soup is your answer. Don’t like the texture of cooked veggies? Puree the soup! You can even puree the veggies you don’t like and keep the other ones whole. There are no rules, only goodness. I know summer grilling gets all the glory, but there is nothing like a pot of hot soup on a brisk evening. Here are some of my favorite soup recipes.
4. Tight Jeans. After months of cookouts and ice cream and fair food and vacations, let’s just say, it’s a good time to rein it all in. There’s nothing wrong with a little feasting over the Summer, but I like to balance that out with a little fasting in the Fall. I also like when the waistband of my jeans does not cut grooves into my stomach tissue. Maybe that’s just me.
5. The holidays…they are a-comin’! Speaking of feasting, we generally have two months solid of holiday celebrations around here. For us, they begin the beginning of November (when people try to sneak in the early Christmas party) and continue until New Year’s Day. EVERYONE knows to rein it in in January…duh, RESOLUTIONS. But what if you gave yourself a head start and reined it in now? Then, when the holidays come, you can indulge a little more. And when January comes, you can rein it in a little less. You are so smart that way.
6. Routine and structure. I love the structure and rhythm of back-to-school time. I find the routine in the kids’ schedule easily carries over into my workout and eating habits. It helps me to plan meals and workouts ahead, when I’m already planning kids’ lunches and carpools.
7. More Sleep. We forget that sleep is a vital component of health. When you get proper rest, your workouts are stronger and your eating is better. (There is science to back this up. Go ahead, look it up.) Again, Summer gets all the credit for being restful, but anyone with kids knows that’s a big fat lie. Summer = TV until midnight. Fall = the whole house sleeping at 10 pm. When the kids are in school, everyone is getting up early, which means they are going to bed early, which means (hallelujah) you can too!
Consider yourself sufficiently nudged. Now tell me, what’s one healthy change you can make this Fall?