Fall is a season of new beginnings. The days are getting shorter, the weather is getting cooler, and the leaves are changing — and so can you.
Autumn is the perfect time to re-evaluate your lifestyle. As we prepare to turn back the clocks this weekend, here are 10 healthy habits fall back into you.
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1. Get To Bed Early
Now that the sun is setting earlier in the day and rising later in the morning, take stock of your sleeping habits. Are you going to bed early enough? According to Cognitive Therapy and Research, people who go to bed early tend to have less negative thoughts than those who turn in later at night. The 100-subject study found that repetitive negative thinking (a.k.a. negative self-talk) and other obsessive-compulsive symptoms were more common in night owls. Whether that’s an chicken-or-the-egg question requires more research, but either way, a good night’s sleep has is proven time and time again to be essential for optimal health — arguably more so than diet, exercise or any other healthy habits. Take care of yourself and get to sleep early. Your body will thank you for it.
2. Eat More Seasonal Veggies
Fall is all about root and cruciferous vegetables, from beets to carrots to cabbage. And one diet that touts the benefits of these seasonal fall-winter foods is the Nordic Diet. Eating this way means you’re getting a ton of fibre, which is linked to heart health and weight loss. And because the food is seasonal, you’re more likely to eat local and getting fresher more nutritious veggies. Check out our picks for the best fall foods.
3. Walk Every Day
The weather right now is totally Goldilocks. It’s not too hot, it’s not too cold. It’s just right. Take advantage of this rare time by going for walks, especially before the frost kicks in and the snow starts falling. According to the American Heart Association, brisk walks can help lower blood pressure, balance cholesterol levels and lower your risk for diabetes. The kicker? Walking was more beneficial for these than running was in a study of more than 33,000 runners and 15,000 walkers. So put on your walking shoes and go for a fall stroll!
4. Have Soup As A Meal
Not only is a brothy soup lower in calories than most entrées, it’s also just as filling. Plus they warm the soul. Detox soups are a good way to get your diet back on track after a month of Halloween candy and Thanksgiving dinners. Detox soups, ones made with kidney-and-liver-friendly nutrients; think: broccoli, carrots, avocados and spices, are low in calories, fat, sugar and wheat. And the easiest and most satisfying way to enjoy these foods is in big bowlfuls. Mmm!
5. Fall Back Into A Fitness Routine
With summer far behind us, it’s time to prioritize our physical fitness and get back into our daily healthy habits. Why? You’ll have a happier and healthier lifestyle, reports a study in Health Psychology. Creating little daily habits, nuances and traditions creates triggers for healthy behaviors. The study found that it’s not simply the decision to workout, but rather instigating habits that reminded subjects to workout, that made a difference. Whether that’s setting your alarm early to go for a jog or driving past your gym on the way home, these habits “instigate” the decision to exercise without even thinking, “I must work out.”
6. See The Sunrise
Now that you’re already going to bed early because of healthy habit number one (above), and now that we’re turning back the clocks an hour, aim to get up early enough to see the sun rise. Why? The Journal of Applied Social Psychology reports that early risers are more likely to be leaders, good problem solvers, more proactive and able to adapt to changing situations throughout the day. Not only that, but early risers also tend to wake up early even on the weekends, which means they’re more productive on their days off as well. Seems like a good way to be to us.
7. Go For A Hike
Take advantage of the changing colours in nature by going for a stunning hike! Science News published a study found that the up-and-down gravity challenges of mountains and hills have particular heart benefits, especially for bone building and strengthening muscles. Furthermore, getting out into nature is scientifically proven to help combat depression and stress.
8. De-Clutter Your Life
Forget spring cleaning – fall cleaning is where it’s at. De-cluttering, such as organizing your closet and giving your whole house a once over, can actually help you with your professional life. Data shows that a tidy home has positive benefits on career. Perhaps it has to do with stress, disorder and clear thinking. But either way, who doesn’t want to come home to a clean house?
9. Make More Meals At Home
One of the easiest and simplest ways to lose weight without even trying is to simply stop eating out at restaurants and cook your own meals at home. With fewer social engagements and excuses to eat out, fall is the perfect time to start planning your meals for the week. Pour yourself a glass of red wine and batch cook on weekends and embrace your slow cooker for those super busy days. It’s much easier to control what you eat by prepping your own food at home.
10. Have A Fall Resolution
Why wait until New Year’s to create a resolution when you can do it now? According to data published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, just eight per cent of people who make resolutions on January 1 achieve their goals. That might be because the resolution is more about that time of year than it is about truly making life-changing habits. Now is the perfect time to revisit that promise you made to yourself at the beginning of this year and get back on track.