Now that September is here it won’t be long until the days get noticeably cooler and the nights longer. Autumn is on its way! I love autumn, it is one of my favourite time of year and early autumn usually brings with it perfect running weather. I also love this time of year as hiking trails normally become quieter and it is the ideal time to get outside and be active. Saying this, autumn often brings with it more rain, fewer daylight hours, stronger winds and, towards the end of the season, much colder days – all of which means that it can be much harder to stay motivated to keep fit and eat healthy once the season truly kicks in.
If, like me, you aim to live a fit and healthy lifestyle all year round and not just when the weather is warm and the sun is shining, here are a few tips I’ve picked up over the years that help me to stay active and eat healthily even on the stormiest autumn days.
Making workouts part of your lifestyle
Making workouts part of your lifestyle is one of the keys to staying active all year round, but it becomes even more important during autumn when available time gets shorter as the nights get longer. To do this, look at your overall lifestyle and see where workouts can fit into your day, especially if you can’t or don’t want to go to a gym. Easy ways to fit workouts into your lifestyle include cycling to work, fitting in a pre-work run or even just a walk at lunchtime. This will help to make being active as part of your daily lifestyle and not something you have to find the motivation to do.
Healthy comfort foods
Healthy comfort foods sounds like an oxymoron, but over the years I’ve found lots of recipes for healthy foods that are still comforting and a great choice on cold, rainy days. Some of my favourites include bean chili, soups and vegetarian stews. Also, continuing to eat a wide range of fruit and veg at this time of year will provide your body with the nutrients needed to fight off colds and flues that begin making the rounds during autumn.
Autumn can bring with it some of the best weather for getting outdoors, but also some of the worst. At it’s best you get cool, crisp, bright and sunny days and at its worst it brings strong winds, heavy rain and an abundance of grey skies. While the risk of the weather suddenly changing can make it tempting to stay indoors, getting outside as much as possible – especially on the good days – is a great way of not only staying active but also boosting your mental wellbeing, and studies have shown that being outdoors, particularly around nature, has a positive impact on people’s feelings of wellbeing.
Wellbeing during autumn
Talking of wellbeing, being fit and healthy during autumn isn’t just about being active and eating healthily, but is also about taking care of your overall wellbeing. Autumn can be a stressful time of year as there seems to be a lot more that needs to fit into shorter days and it doesn’t take long until the countdown to Christmas kicks in – I’ve already spotted mince pies being sold in the supermarket! Taking time to de-stress is vital, whether it’s five-minutes out of your day to meditate, going to a yoga class or simply enjoying a relaxing bath at the end of the day. Another great way to boost your wellbeing during autumn is having an autumn clean to refresh and rejuvenate your environment. I do this every year and find it a great way of getting my home decluttered, clean and ready for the upcoming colder months.
How do you stay motivated to keep fit and eat healthily during autumn?