School is underway. Morning temperatures are in the brisk 50s. Football frenzy has begun. Apple orchards are advertising. And we’re all trying to find our new rhythm and routines. healthy fall transition.
It is the time for seasonal change as well as lifestyle change. Even though September comes every year, I find myself jolting and hiccuping as I try to shift gears. Saying goodbye to summer; adjusting to school time traffic; jumping into my regular activities and commitments that follow the school calendar and resetting my health and fitness routines.
For me, this September brings about a whole new set of changes and adjustments as my husband, Dan, and I are expecting our first child this October. (I am officially accepting free baby advice; please send to firstname.lastname@example.org 🙂 For those of you already with children, I know this season of change and adjustment is just that much more complicated (school open houses, club meetings, bus schedules, bazillion emails and details, football practices, etc) and hiccup-y. As many of y’all help your spouses and kids get back into normal sleep schedules, leaving on time to beat traffic, packing healthy lunches and snacks and adapt emotionally to changes without the carefree weekends at the cabin, you are trying to do all the same for yourself!
A big factor that can make this seasonal change so difficult is one in the same with the best coping mechanism. Taking care of your mind, body and soul through good nutrition and regular fitness. But oh! How difficult it can be to squeeze in a workout before the bus brings your kids back, have dinner on the table when everyone is all across town at dinnertime, muster up the energy for a hard workout before coaching your kids sports team, or much less make it to the grocery store weekly!
Take heart moms, dads, nannies, grandparents and all y’all that struggle with seasonal changes like I do! Here are 23 tips, ideas, events and recipes that might alleviate some of the stress in the transition to this September and fall.
- Stick to a set sleep schedule to reorient your REM sleep cycle and to adjust to the changes in sunlight. (Set a no cell phone browsing in bed policy for yourself if need be!)
- Join our fall bootcamp for a fun and challenging workout. Meet at Thorpe Park at 8:30AM on Mondays and Wednesdays or 6:30AM on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Oberlin Park. Contact our office at 952.224.1919. for more info.
- Drink water. Seriously. Try this easy peasy recipe for a tasty and all natural mango ginger flavored water: Add 1 inch of peeled and chopped ginger root to a pitcher with 1 cup fresh or frozen mango. Then add ice (to hold the ginger down) and water. Chill for 1-3 hours before serving.
- Take advantage of September 24: National Women’s Health & Fitness Day discounts. (Sometimes a discount is just the motivation you need to get started with a new workout program.) Check out our Facebook page or specials page for more info.
- Make a list of healthier snacks you and your family enjoy. Taking five minutes to brainstorm with your kids can make the next grocery store trip that much easier, productive and healthy!
- Get those new summer sun spots checked out and manage any sun-related skin problems. OHW just introduced dermatology at the Minnetonka clinic and you don’t have to wait 4 months for an appointment! Click here for more info and to schedule an appointment with no delays.
- Start taking Vitamin D now if you do not already. Building up your stores of vitamin D now will make November-March that much easier. The research has proven the benefits of vitamin D and unfortunately, the majority of Minnesotans are low in vitamin D the majority of the year.
- Take advantage of the seasonal foods at the various Fall Farmers Markets in the Twin Cities. We are very fortunate to have such quality produce (and fun crafts! Check out the Maizy Daisy Boutique in Mound) in our metro farmer markets.
- Deal with seasonal temperature changes and joint problems by setting up regular massages. This is not just a luxury. Mary Holz, CMT is a soft tissue therapist and she incorporates integrated manual therapies into your relaxing massage to improve more than just your stress level.
- Check out these healthier tailgating food ideas. Whether you are eating out of a pickup in the parking lot or from your couch, don’t settle for blah, sit in your tummy like a rock food.
- Sign up for a personal training package to ease your transition back to more frequent indoor workouts. After being active and outdoors all summer, a personal trainer can be just the structure and encouragement you need to look forward to fitness under a roof.
- Visit an apple orchard with your family. This is a great family outing to reconnect during the busyness of school starting and a great way to stock up on snacks your kids will be happy to eat (something about eating an apple your kids pick makes it more special).
- Enjoy these seasonal fall super foods: pumpkin, apple, sweet potato, Brussels Sprouts, parsnips, pear, pomegranate, grapefruit, kiwi, and dates.
- Don’t quit being active outside. Just because the temperature drops or the weather is not as nice as our MN summers, you don’t have a good enough excuse to hole up inside already. Pick an outdoor activity (walking, yard work, hiking, rec sports) and stick with it, adding clothing layers as needed.
- Try this great pumpkin bread recipe for quick breakfasts or snacks. The recipe makes 2 loaves so eat one and freeze the other to pull out when you’re in a pinch.
- If you are planning to do a big fall clean up-yardwork or house cleaning-incorporate seasonal scents and colors. This will help with the mental transition to fall and add in a little fun. Light a spice scented candle or bake the above pumpkin bread while you clean the house or save a few colorful leaves while raking for a fun table centerpiece.
- Deal with cold weather skin issues early by visiting our new skin specialist, Britney Foster, PA-C. Don’t suffer from dry and flaking skin in silence!
- OHW recommends you get your flu shot. Avoiding a bout with the flu or an intense cold can make your fall and winter so much more pleasant and less stressful.
- As your fall schedule fills up with the day to day responsibilities (carpool, weekly boy scouts, coaching Jimmy’s soccer team, volunteering in your kids’ classroom), schedule in your workouts. Put it on your family calendar or in your phone calendar and protect that time. Everyone will respect that consistent day and time of the week for you.
- Similarly, as your family calendar starts losing space to write in, schedule in time to relax and recharge so you are giving your best to your family, coworkers and friends. (Hint: check out our Spa Week specials coming Oct 20-26.)
- Consider taking care of that nagging back pain, that achy knee or those recurring headaches with physical therapy. October is National Physical Therapy Month!
- Sign up for a race, competition or other motivating event that is scheduled for early Spring 2015. Setting a goal now will motivate you to start and keep up your training this fall and winter.
- Start more regular family meals. Even though you might have kids in 3 different sports, you and your spouse are working later this fall, or you don’t have time to cook dinner, research has shown us the amazing benefits of eating as a family. Think creatively: breakfast counts, you might need to have snacks ready at 4PM so everyone can wait to eat together at 7PM, and make it about the relationships and connecting instead of the food.