We are now into the second month of Autumn and the chill has definitely set in. Brightly coloured leaves fall from the trees, signalling the change in season and covering the earth with natures red and orange blanket. The colder temperatures and darker evenings can lead to the temptations of snuggling beneath warm rugs and sipping on hot tea. The couch can seem like our best friend, and stodgy comfort food can replace healthy salads and lighter meals.
Why is it that as soon as day light saving ends, we lose motivation to workout and maintain our healthy habits? There seems to be so many more excuses around the colder seasons as to why we can’t continue on the health conscious path we were on during Spring and Summer.
It is possible to maintain our health and fitness during Autumn, and here are some tips to help you:
- Incorporate an indoor workout to your routine… Yoga and Pilates are fantastic options for staying warm and achieving dynamic workout during the colder months. Both of these improve muscle strength, tone and flexibility, while helping you practise mindfulness and body awareness. Correct breathing techniques are practiced in yoga and pilates, which can help melt away the physical and emotional stresses of the working week, leaving you feeling rejuvenated and relaxed.
- Sign up for bootcamp with a buddy… Set your alarm for early in the morning and meet a good friend for regular bootcamp sessions, or just set up your own circuits. Getting up in the morning is the most challenging part of working out. If you know that you are meeting a friend there, you are more likely to turn up! The cool air only lasts until you have worked up a sweat from all your hard work! Treat yourself to a hot latte afterwards and rug up ready to start your morning. The best thing is, you can slump onto the couch after work, knowing that you have done your workout for the day!
- Cook home-made soup… Comfort food doesn’t need to be unhealthy. Use up all the veggies in your fridge and whip up a yummy soup that will double as both dinner and lunch the next day! Some of my faves include cauliflower, broccoli and spicy pumpkin! Substitute cream with light coconut milk for a rich yet healthier option. Simply cook the vegetables in a pot with some stock/water until tender, then whiz up in the food processor until smooth. Pour soup mixture back into the pot and heat for 5-10 minutes to thicken. For a heartier soup, stir in some shredded chicken.
- Workout in your bedroom… Start practicing some simple moves of a morning or night to strengthen your core, raise your heart rate and stretch your muscles to produce long, lean limbs:
- plank: hold a plank for as long as you can, rest for ten seconds and then hold a plank again for 30 seconds. Each day, try to increase you first plank. For an extra challenge, raise one leg at a time during your plank, maintaining correct form at all times.
- skip: with an imaginary rope, skip for 2 minutes, rest for ten seconds, then skip for another 2 minutes. You can increase your skipping time to however long you wish.
- Stretch: Sit down on the floor with your legs out in front of you. From your hips, bend forward and reach our your hands, trying to touch your toes. Hold the stretch for a good 20 seconds. Make sure you are not hunching over, the bend is in your hips and not your back.
5) Drink warm water and lemon… There are many health benefits with this combination, as well as it being a great way to warm up in the morning!
- aids digestion
- boosts immune system
- clears skin
- energises you and enhances mood
- freshens breath
- aids in weight loss
Enjoy rugging-up this season, but don’t forget that our bodies still need to be fit and healthy under our clothes!
Article by Heidi Greig.
Heidi Greig is a 25-year-old Melbournian with a passion for all things health and fitness. Coming from a background in modern dance and now enjoying the benefits of Reformer Pilates, Heidi is well –aware of the importance of regular, heart rate rising activity for a balanced and happy life!
Instagram – @heidijoan
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