Creating a Healthy Routine
The Fall and winter seasons can bring a lot of emotions for people. As it gets colder, those pitch-black mornings make it harder than ever not to give into the urge to roll over and go back to sleep. With the fall now in full swing, it’s a great time to create some healthy habits that can help you stay on track through the rest of the year.
Commit to better planning.
Keeping up with everyone’s schedules is downright difficult – especially if you’re a parent. Get yourself a whiteboard calendar, and have a quick family meeting on Sunday evenings. Write down everything – work, school and sports commitments, evening meetings, etc. — so there are no surprises or missed appointments.
Aim for seven to eight hours a night if possible. Create a relaxing bedtime routine, and wind down before you head to bed. Keep your mobile devices out of your bedroom and make it a technology-free zone, if possible.
Start the day with intention.
When your alarm first goes off in the morning, remind yourself how much better you’ll feel if you take some time to yourself to start your day on a positive note. With that in mind, don’t hit the snooze button. Get up, and take five minutes to stretch or meditate.
It’s not hard to stay hydrated during the hot summer months, but when temperatures fall, a cold glass of water may be the last thing you want. Yet, staying hydrated is incredibly important for your energy levels and overall health. For some variety, try hot water with lemon and organic honey.
Try a new exercise.
In an exercise rut? Try something new outdoors. Join an early morning or evening bootcamp class in your community (many are held in shopping center parking lots or parks). Discover a new walking, running or biking path. Take a nature hike. Or simply take the dog for a walk in the evening, and breathe in the nighttime air.
Enjoy the outdoors.
Make it a point to spend even 10 minutes daily outside. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American spends 93 percent of his or her life indoors. Time outside increases your exposure to Vitamin D (“the sunshine vitamin”). Light and outdoor exercise can elevate your mood, lower blood pressure, fight depression, reduce inflammation, boost immunity, improve short-term memory, heighten creativity and reduce your stress levels. A 2008 study of children with ADHD even found that being outside can improve your concentration.
Aim for 80/20.
At this time of year, maintaining healthy eating habits is a challenge. So cut yourself some slack. Don’t go for perfection. Instead, commit to staying on track 80 percent of the time, and give yourself wiggle room the remaining 20 percent of the time. That 20 percent can include your office parties, holiday get-togethers, family dinners and other special occasions. During those events, focus on loading up your plate with veggies, but if that pecan pie is calling your name, treat yourself. When it comes to your healthy lifestyle, it’s the big picture that counts.
I have a FREE 10 Day Detox program with recipes, meal plans, and helpful tips that you’re welcome to download. You can access it here.
I would love to hear your thoughts about how you stay on track during the seasonal months!