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Fall is here! As we welcome to shorter days, crisp air and colorful leaves, we should think of the new season as a chance for a fresh start to your healthy habits. As we pack up our swimsuits and flip flops and bring out those sweaters and toboggans, let’s not use the change in wardrobe as an excuse to forget our fitness goals. Some of us tend to gain weight in the summer even though we seem to be more active thanks in large part to, barbecues, graduation parties, weddings, and other gatherings. Fall, however, is the perfect time to undo the damage, since while Summers tend to stay busy Fall affords many of us more opportunity to slow down and refocus on our health and our families.
Below are a few Fall tips for getting the most out of the season:
- Pumpkins aren’t just for decorating–they are rich in phytosterols, and loaded with vitamins A and C. Some studies show that adding pumpkin into an already balanced diet can lower cholesterol.
- Don’t forget to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Your skin will thank you and so will your immune system especially in the cool windy weather. Probiotics have been known to boost our immune system which seems to always be worse in the fall. You know another source of immunity booster? Pumpkin!
- Turn the computers off and put your sneakers on and go outside. Nothing is better than walking with the crisp air and fall foliage. Spending time outdoors have been known to improve your concentration and your mood, especially as the daylight hours diminish.
- If you must perform yard work, you can also use that as an alternative to a workout in a pinch. For a 150 pound person, 30 minutes of raking leaves, or planting/weeding, or playing with the little ones can each easily burn up to 150 calories. (Just wait until you see how many calories you can burn shoveling snow in a few months)
- Autumn veggies are filled with heart-healthy vitamins. Try roasting fall veggies with a little oil and salt & pepper, the extra fiber will also help avoid the urge to overindulge in all of the pumpkin spice treats we get surrounded by this time of year.
Fall doesn’t have to be the season that we dread just because it gets colder and grayer. With these tips, we can make fall a fun, healthy time of year.