By Melissa Vogel
Health and Fitness Columnist, Canyon Lake Insider
As the leaves turn yellow, temperatures drop, and holiday festivities fill our calendars, it’s important to stay on track with our wellness goals. In this edition of Health and Fitness Article, we’ll explore how fall affects our overall health and discuss some smart strategies to help you stay fit and healthy throughout this season.
Calorie Dilemma in Autumn
With the arrival of fall, we’re greeted with an array of delectable treats, from pumpkin pies to mulled cider to Halloween candy. In this season with lots of parties and delightful feasts, it is no surprise that our calorie intake tends to increase. While it’s perfectly fine to enjoy these delicacies in moderation, be mindful of your overall consumption. A slice of cake is delicious; three can lead to regret. To maintain a balanced diet, practice portion control and enjoy your treats in moderation.
Autumn Calm of the Gym
As the days get shorter and temperatures drop, the motivation to go to the gym may wane. But maintaining a consistent exercise routine is crucial to our fitness goals. To combat the cold, consider exercising indoors, trying group fitness classes, or even investing in at-home exercise equipment. Find a fitness buddy to keep each other accountable, and remember that staying active helps combat seasonal blues.
Cold and Flu Season Precautions
Autumn also heralds the arrival of the dreaded cold and flu season. It is wise to reduce sugar intake and eat a balanced diet to strengthen your immune system. Excessive sugar consumption weakens the immune system, making you more susceptible to diseases. Replace sugary snacks with immune-boosting alternatives like fruits and vegetables and stay hydrated. Also, don’t forget the flu vaccine; This is a simple but effective way to protect against seasonal diseases.
Balancing Alcohol Consumption
Social gatherings and holiday celebrations often come with alcoholic beverages. It’s okay to enjoy a glass of wine or a seasonal cocktail, but excessive alcohol consumption can negatively impact your health and fitness. Choose lighter drink options, set limits, and always designate a driver if you’re out and about. Reducing your fluid consumption with water in between alcoholic beverages can help you reduce your consumption and reduce the negative effects of alcohol on your body.
Take Care of Your Health This Autumn
Now that we’ve discussed the potential pitfalls of fall, let’s move on to some tips to keep you on track:
- Plan Ahead: Prioritize your fitness routine by planning workouts in advance. Having a set schedule will make it easier to stay committed even when the days are dark.
- Healthy Hosting: If you’re hosting a fall gathering, offer a variety of nutritious options along with indulgent treats. Your guests will appreciate the variety and you’ll have healthier options, too.
- Autumn Flavors: Embrace the season’s produce. Add fall fruits and vegetables, such as squash, apples and sweet potatoes, to your meals to boost nutritional value.
- Personal Care: Remember the importance of personal care. Adequate sleep, stress management and mindfulness can go a long way in maintaining your overall well-being.
As we embark on this journey through fall, remember that maintaining your health and fitness goals is all about balance and moderation. Enjoy seasonal delights, but don’t let them lead you astray. By following these tips and staying committed to your health, you’ll not only thrive in the fall, but you’ll also build a strong foundation for a healthier winter. Stay tuned for more fitness information and healthy living advice.
Melissa Vogel is a fitness expert with over 20 years of experience in the health and wellness industry. She is a fitness instructor, host of the Bomb Mom Podcast, keynote speaker, model, actress, second-degree black belt in Taekwondo, and mother of three daughters. For more information, visit www.melissavogelfitness.com.