written by Juliet Kaska, celebrity trainer and health + wellness expert
I love fall. It brings with it a feeling of change, and a welcome rush of new energy. The air is cooler and crisper, which often marks the beginning of a mad dash toward the end of the year. Transitions between the seasons is a time to reboot and reground, which is perhaps more important this year than ever. Hot cocoa with marshmallows is nice, but let’s take a look at some other ways we can sustain the health of our body and mind as summer comes to a close. These tips are intentionally designed to integrate easily into your everyday routine. They may seem small but keeping them up for a few weeks will result in a noticeable overall reboot- no unplugging required!
- Root Vegetables. Eating root vegetables is a great way to keep your body grounded. Ayurvedic practitioners believe these hearty vegetables can help us connect to our bodies and help garner a comforting sense of steadiness when those winter winds leave us feeling a little scattered. Read more about the health benefits of these yummy veggies Bonus points for them being seasonal and readily available all fall and winter long.
- Spice Things Up. Spices like turmeric and cinnamon have anti-inflammatory properties that can help boost your immune system, too. Add them into your stews, and even that mug of hot chocolate, too, for a seasonal treat.
- Herbal (Tea) Remedy. Let’s face it. This has been a stressful year. Rather than reaching for yet another cup of coffee, challenge yourself to reduce your caffeine intake by drinking herbal teas like Lemon Balm or Peppermint. These teas have specific anti-anxiety qualities, and less caffeine means steadier moods and energy levels, not to mention sounder sleep.
- Listen To Your Gut! Responsible for regulating mood, happiness, and anxiety, boosting serotonin levels is a definite for any reboot. And since there are more serotonin receptors in the gut than in the brain, gut health is extremely important (for your immune system, too!). Consider adding in fermented vegetables like kimchi, kombucha tea, or a probiotic to your daily routine.
- Start With Citrus. Drink lemon juice tonic as soon as you wake up, before coffee/tea/food. Take the juice of 1 lemon and add it to 5-8oz of hot water. This will help regulate your bowels and is a good source of antioxidants and flavonoids. The lemon juice is a good source of vitamin C. The juice from 1 lemon gives you 21% of your daily value.
- Grease The Wheels. Let’s face it. Cooler temperatures can lead to more time under a cozy blanket. It can leave us feeling a little creaky on those cold mornings, so consider adding in a short spinal mobility routine to your morning, noon and night. It’ll leave you feeling more energized and help with all that time spend at your desk, too. Click here to read my article on posture.
- Get Moving! Rather than scrolling social media or news headlines on your breaks, why not try some squats or lunges instead? We all know that exercise releases endorphins, and studies have shown that short bursts of exercise can be just as effective as one longer, concentrated session. Sessions as short as 2-3 minutes throughout the day can really add up. Combat the dangers of scrolling and sneak your workout in at the same time. Now that just sounds like great time management. 😊
- Get Grounded… On The Ground. Lying flat on the ground can give us a lot of helpful feedback when stretching. It can show us where we’re compensating, and where we may be holding extra tension. And, psst… we all hold extra tension. Try laying on the ground, place a yoga strap (or rope, or even a necktie) just behind the ball of one foot, stretching that foot toward the ceiling for a hamstring stretch, while keeping the upper back and shoulders flat on the ground. Gently press the tailbone away from the up-stretched heel to maintain a gentle curve in the lower back. Hold for 20-30 seconds on each side, breathing deeply.
- Tone The Tummy! Giving focus to the muscles in your abdominal region has many upsides including improving your balance and coordination. Without a strong core you will not have good balance and coordination to perform other exercises properly. A good and consistent abdominal workout also can give you a smaller waistline without losing a pound. This is because you are toning the muscles, and a tone is muscle is small and dense. A strong midsection can also help to alleviate back pain. Many aches and pains in the back initially start because the core muscles aren’t strong, therefore the back muscles have to do more work eventually becoming overworked, strained and/or spasm. Check out Move for You: The Core Method to get your tummy zone toned in no time.
- Get Weighted This Fall! You are probably thinking “No” I want to get rid of the weight not add. By adding in a weight training routine into your weekly routine you may actual drop body weight. When you weight train you build strong and lean muscle tone which we all know makes your body looks good! A less know fact is when you build muscle you increase your calorie burning capabilities all the time, not just when you work out. How is that for a selling point, look good and burn more? Start with 2 days of week for 20-30 minutes for 2 weeks, and then move to 3-4 days a week.
- Unplug And Unwind. Okay, maybe a little unplugging required. Think of it as cleaning house- your social media house, that is. Take a look at who you’re following and consider whether their feed is uplifting or draining you. Curate your feed to include inspirational or calming quotes, or, if you’re like me, the occasional cute puppy or baby.
- Press Pause. Try taking a break from social media altogether. We do food cleanses all the time. There’s no reason we can’t take partake in a Facebook or Instagram cleanse as well. It’s been shown that habitual scrolling can lead to feelings of depression and loneliness. Use that time to make a phone call to a friend instead, or write them a personal email, which means more than a “like” any day.
- Empower Yourself… by parenting yourself. It’s easy to get caught in a funk that stays all day, but it can be just as easy to shake it off. Next time you’re feeling less than sparkling, have a glass of water. Take a shower. Take a nap. Go for a walk. Turn on your favorite music. Put on your favorite outfit; it doesn’t matter if you’re not seeing anyone that day. Same goes for your favorite red lipstick. If it makes you feel good, it wins.
- Pet Your Pet! We all know that pets can positively affect our mental health. Consciously taking time to connect with them can boost the effects even more. They make us more present, calm our nervous system, and can offer much needed solace during particularly stressful or hectic times.
- Zen Out. There’s a zen proverb, “You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day – unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour.” The next few months are undoubtedly going to fly by. Stay more present for all of it by beginning or recommitting to a meditation practice. Start with five minutes, and don’t worry about doing it wrong. It’s called a meditation practice for a reason. Check out my Health & Wellness tips for more!
No matter how busy your schedule is, remember that you, too, are a priority. After all, consciously taking care of yourself is the best thing we can for others. When we feel our best, inside and out, we’re able to give our best- and best of all? Your actions will encourage others to do the same. What better domino effect is that?
Make your fall season a reboot as well as one that serves your overall health and wellbeing.