Last Thursday was the first day of fall, which is one of my favorite days of the year! September, October and November are pretty mild in North Carolina and I’m looking forward to crisp mornings and the leaves changing colors.
Something I really enjoy about the change in seasons is that it’s a great time to re-evaluate what’s going in life, make plans and set new goals for yourself. This includes in the health / wellness / fitness / nutrition area of life!
Moving into fall is coming at the perfect time for me wellness-wise because I recently did my first triathlon and haven’t been very active since. I also started a new job at the beginning of August and feel like I’m back in a normal life groove after getting over that training hump. I am really happy where I’m at physically and mentally these days, so I have centered some of my fall goals around continuing that momentum.
Looking for some ideas to revamp your health and fitness goals this fall? I’ve got you covered!
1. Take Advantage of Free Local Activities
Sometimes we view physical activity as being expensive but if your community is anything like mine then there are probably lots of fun things going on for free. Here are some things I came across in my local area- I’m sure you can find something similar in your area too!
Meetup Groups Galore- I’ve never done a meetup before but they look like they could be a lot of fun. In just a few brief searches I found a road biking group, a mountain biking group and a huge running group. The running group actually has meetups Monday-Saturday.
Local Breweries- Not exactly the first place I’d look for fitness but a lot of local breweries in my area offer some great stuff for free!
- Sugar Creek Brewing Company offers free crossfit classes
- Lenny Boy Brewing Company has a free running club
- The Oak Room + Arrichion offer free yoga
Athleta is offering free barre classes
One of my goals is to go to some things like this to meet more cool people and get some free physical activity!
2. Visit the Farmer’s Market
If you’re looking for a place to get inexpensive, fresh produce and that supports your community at the same time then the farmer’s market is the place to be.
Last summer I went to the farmer’s market almost every Saturday but was not so great about it this summer. I need to get back in the habit because produce from the farmer’s market tastes about 1,000x better than stuff purchased from the grocery store.
3. Get Enough Sleep
There is more and more information coming out about how important sleep is for our health. Being sleep deprived can cause us to choose bigger portion sizes, skip out on physical activity, experience decreases in insulin sensitivity, feel confusion between our “hunger” and “full” hormones, and even gain more weight in the long run than those who are well-rested.
How much sleep is enough? The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours for adults ages 26-64.
Getting more sleep has been something I have really worked on over the past year. I’ve made some great strides but I’m still struggling in 2 areas:
- Putting away technology before bed- I know the lit screens are horrible for going to sleep. I just can’t help but pick up my phone as I’m going to bed.
- Temperature- My apartment has been way too hot this summer. I’m very much looking forward to fall and cooler temps so that I can open a window!
Something that has REALLY helped me with sleeping is not consuming any caffeine after lunch time. I don’t drink caffeine later at night but I used to have a caffeinated beverage earlier in the afternoon. Once I cut that out, I noticed that I fall asleep almost right away instead of tossing and turning when I’m trying to go to sleep.
If you’re looking for a good blogger read, I really enjoyed Ashley’s recap of ways she has gotten better sleep!
4. Sign Up for a New Fitness Event
Themed runs can be really fun for those who aren’t normally into racing, and signing up for any kind of fitness event can keep you motivated to start some sort of exercise regimen Fall usually has a lot of great options with Halloween and Thanksgiving, so Google around or check your local running store to see what’s going on in your area.
Some races I’m thinking about doing in Charlotte are the Running Scared 5 miler (hello costume race!) and the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot. The best part about these races is that they seem like they would be really fun to do with friends and family.
If you don’t find anything that interests you then consider registering for the Jimmie Johnson Foundation’s Virtual Triathlon during the month of October. You have the entire month to swim 2.4 miles, cycle 112 miles and run/walk 26.2 miles. I’m strongly considering registering for this to give me a boost back into some regular workouts! The foundation also supports the local school system This is a great challenge for someone who wants to be active but doesn’t want to focus just on running!
5. Take Time for Yourself
If there is one thing I’m going to focus on this fall, it is going to be to take time for myself and do things that make me happy. For me this means:
more mountain biking
pulling out long lost DSLR camera
spending time with the people that I care about
saying “no” to things I really don’t want to do
Mental health and happiness plays such a big part in our overall health and it sometimes gets put on the back burner. Take the change of seasons as an opportunity to re-evaluate things and relationships in your life that make you happy and figure out a way to put those things in the forefront moving forward!
Questions for you:
What is on your agenda this fall in the health and fitness world?
Do you have any additional tips for a healthy fall?
What is your favorite part about fall? I love getting that very first pumpkin spice latte #basic