It may seem odd to make resolutions in autumn rather than at the beginning of the new year. Autumn is the end of summer fun and sun. But autumn is also a time for letting go of burdens – possessions and habits that just don’t work for you. Trees lose their leaves because they’re getting ready for winter and won’t need them during that season. It’s time for them to start growing deeper roots. Deep roots ensure that the trees absorb water and nutrition when they’re in short supply. Deep roots also stabilize trees so that they can grow taller and stronger.
Most resolutions are health related.
Did you make resolutions? Have you achieved them? Are you getting stronger and healthier?
Autumn is a time to get back on schedule. A great time to make changes! It’s easy to make a “wish list” of resolutions, but a list is not a plan. A workable plan can get you from wishing to winning.
Diet and exercise are not enough!
Our goal is to live as long as we can as healthy as we can. We want to look and feel great at 90!
Making changes to our diet is a great start. Processed foods have very little nutrition and have additives to enhance color, extend shelf life, stop ingredients from getting lumpy, etc. Some processed foods are “free” – fat free, sugar-free, low-calorie – chemicals and additives make the products taste good when the fat, sugar, and calories are removed. Some foods are labeled “healthy” because vitamins and minerals have been added after processing has removed most of the nutrition. Real, unprocessed food is the best source of nutrients. Supplements can be taken for vitamins and minerals that are still lacking in food.
Intermittent fasting should be part of a healthy lifestyle plan. The practice of fasting has been done for thousands of years. There are so many benefits to intermittent fasting and very few, temporarily annoying side effects. Enjoy losing belly fat and weight loss because increased metabolism causes increased fat-burning. Intermittent fasting helps remove waste from cells for cellular repair, reduces oxidative stress, and reduces inflammation all over the body. Heart health can improve with lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels. Fasting can reduce insulin resistance and the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Even more benefits can be experienced with intermittent fasting. Some people felt hungry while a few others felt weak the first time they fasted. Those symptoms were temporary and passed with subsequent fasts.
You can’t out-exercise a bad diet! So true!
Exercise plays an important role in attaining and maintaining health. There’s NO downside to exercising. While exercise can’t replace a good diet, it complements and enriches a healthy diet. No matter what motive you have for exercising, you get so much more. Most of us want to get into better shape and be stronger. Stronger muscles are a great reason for exercising but stronger bones and joints are a bonus. Exercising helps reduce the risk of heart attack, lowers cholesterol, and helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Better sleep and healthier skin are additional benefits without more work.
Your social circle grows when you go to the gym, yoga class, or running club. There are so many ways to grow a circle of friends that share your interests. More friends and more fun activities improve our disposition and boosts our mental and emotional well-being. Exercising builds confidence and helps manage stress. We look better and can work harder and smarter.
Choose an exercise routine that works for you. Plan ways to fit exercise into your days and which activities fit into your time and ability. There are so many choices. Getting into shape doesn’t require a gym membership, doesn’t have to be done at 5:30 am, and doesn’t have to be a punishment.
There are even more things you can do to live a healthy lifestyle.
Water is essential for all body functions. Our bodies are made of 60% water, our blood is 90% water. Staying hydrated improves organs, tissues, bones, ligaments, skin, etc. Water helps remove waste and deliver oxygen. When we become dehydrated, we can experience joint pain, headaches, constipation, and many more adverse health conditions. There’s no solid rule for how much water we need, but a good rule of thumb is half your body weight in ounces. (ex. A person weighing 150 lbs. should drink 75 oz. water.)
Stress really can kill you! Chronic stress can lead to serious health conditions including mental and emotional problems. Learning to manage stress increases mood and boosts your immune system. Some stress management techniques are exercise, meditation, and restorative sleep.
Sleep is an under-rated element for maintaining a healthy way of life. Getting the right amount of restful sleep can reduce inflammation, lower stress, improve memory and creativity, and maintain a healthy weight. No work involved at all!
The change of season is the perfect time to make changes for a healthier life. Small changes each week, reinforced each day make a whole new you by spring!