Now that the kids are back to school and the days are becoming shorter, it can be easy to slip into hibernation mode. The darker mornings, earlier nightfall and chillier weather have a habit of making us want to curl up inside in front of the TV and crave comfort foods and carbs.
The impact of becoming slower and eating heavier foods is often the same – all our good work living a healthy, active lifestyle during the warmer months is undone and we end up in a cycle of ups and downs.
So here are our top tips on keeping motivated this autumn!
1. Encourage each other
The darker mornings might encourage us to sleep in a little longer than we might in the summer, plus the shorter days might make us want to hibernate. And what does this mean? Our active hours are reduced, and we find less and less time for exercise. To counteract this – we need encouragement from others who might also be feeling the same. Be they housemates, family or a WhatsApp group, create an exercise buddy circle of people so that you can all cheer each other on, celebrate your achievements and share inspirational tips for when you’re feeling the pull of the duvet.
2. Embrace the beauty of autumn
Autumn brings with it a stunning array of golden oranges and brilliant reds and browns. Getting outside for a bracing walk, jog or run will make you feel fresh and alive, especially if it’s how you start your day. Spending time outside also gives us a mental health boost, so blow away those cobwebs and feel the crunchy leaves underfoot as you keep your step count up. This can be especially beneficial if you suffer the effects of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or winter depression.
3. Make the most of the bountiful autumn produce
Squashes and root vegetables are about at this time of year and they make amazing soups, curries and stews. Make them with minimal oil, and plenty of other veggies and pulses, as they don’t need to be unhealthy and calorific. Plus, they make the perfect comfort food alternatives to carb-laden pasta and pastry dishes.
4. Set goals for the rest of the year
Spend some time setting goals for the rest of the year. Goal setting really helps us measure progress and spurs us on to reach our goals. This is true in all aspects of life from relationships and careers to health and fitness. When the seasons change and we feel like slowing down, it can be easy to forget our goals so reviewing and updating them is important. Now is the ideal time to reflect on what’s worked and what hasn’t for you, and adjusting your goals accordingly.