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When August arrives, I realize my beloved summer is sprinting faster and faster toward fall. Between working as a freelance writer, playtime in the yard and Friday night dinner dates with my sons, tending to my garden, and working out at least five days a week, it’s no wonder the first two months of the season flew by without warning.
So here I am at the edge of summer wondering how I’ll make the transition to fall easier this year. Normally, it’s barely a bump in the road, but this year my work schedule is packed, my youngest is turning two (getting busier and bossier every day), and my oldest is starting kindergarten. In the spirit of self-care, I’m envisioning the upcoming season focused on healthful habits I can manage on a daily or weekly basis.
I’ve come up with a few ideas that incorporate my personal priorities. Take this list as is, or tweak it a little to make it your own. Either way, here’s to a productive and peaceful fall!
- Make working out work. This fall I’ll be doing yoga and running instead of my regular circuit training. Here’s why: When you stick with one type of workout, your body becomes efficient at it. This means you burn fewer calories and build less muscle. To avoid this, you need a change. Although when and how you should do this will vary between men and women and depending on individual fitness goals, a good rule of thumb is 4-6 weeks. So, this fall, incorporate something new into your fitness routine!
- Simplify your snacks. If you’re like me, you’re hungry all day long and you want snacks that are fast and healthy. The best approach is to keep it simple. Have some staples in your kitchen at all times: a variety of nuts, (like almonds, pistachios, walnuts, and pecans); bananas and apples as is or topped with nut butter; bell peppers or baby carrots with dips like hummus or ranch (try this recipe). Juice Plus+ Complete shakes are also a great choice, and even easier when you have a blender bottle on hand!
- Prep like a pro. Small changes in the way you go about your daily tasks can make a big difference. Hardcore food preppers often spend an afternoon, generally Sunday, to do all the chopping, portioning, and cooking for the week ahead. If that sounds like too much of a commitment, a modified version would work: Simply use the weekend to plan and shop for the upcoming week, which leaves only the prep work for each evening. Choosing your clothes for work the night before is also a great time saver for the morning.
- Be better at breakfast. I’m guilty of skipping breakfast in the rush to get my oldest son to preschool. When school starts up again, I’m dropping that bad habit for a better one. Quick breakfast is hard to come by, but with a little extra effort, you can make sure you start your day off right. Keep a bowl of boiled eggs in the fridge, pick up a package of microwavable, all-natural chicken sausage, or make some yogurt, granola and fruit popsicles!
Which small steps do you make for a healthier, easier life? Share in the comments below!