Fall is a beautiful season. I especially love the colours, the time we take to give thanks and the opportunity to spend time outside without sweating!
This season also brings some challenges. The shorter days, the rainy weather and our need to feel cozy and warm often decrease one’s motivation to be active. It is tempting to grab a warm blanket, a good movie and cuddle up with a warm drink. Even better with a delicious pumpkin spice latte from Joy Bakery!
Being active is a key to a healthy lifestyle so let me share a few tips to get you moving this fall.
The main complaint or excuse that I hear as a coach is: It’s too cold!
I guarantee you that with the right clothing you will be totally fine. If you are leaving the house with your coat unzipped, no tuque or mitts, yes you will be freezing and won’t enjoy your outdoor activity. The key is layers. Visit one of our amazing local shoppes and find clothing that will keep you warm. Covering your neck is a big factor; I find that as soon as my neck is exposed, I get chilly. Wear a scarf or a buff along with a warm hat and mittens or gloves and you will enjoy your time outside.
Switch Things Up
Next, readjust your schedule! By early November, we will turn the clock back which means even shorter days. Darkness in the evening comes early and may discourage you to get out for your walk. Adjust your schedule to make it work! I always suggest adapting your fitness program each season. A new season is a good time to switch things up! Taking time to exercise right after work might be more enjoyable or decide to invest in reflective gear. North Shore Athletics in Port Dover has a good selection, stop by the shop, and chat with Scot. He will help you find what you need to feel safe if you decide to take your stroll in the dark. It is so important to be seen: don’t take chances, be sure you are visible.
Find Plan B
The rainy weather can also sabotage your plans to be active. Again, having the right gear will be a huge help. It’s just water! Add a waterproof layer with a hood or bring your umbrella.
Having a plan B for an indoor location can also be helpful. If you do not have home equipment, maybe it’s time for a gym membership or hit the mall for some indoor walking! The indoor walks at the Aud and Community Centre will start early in the New Year but for now find a location that will allow you to keep up with your goals.
Less sunlight can also result in symptoms of seasonal affective disorder. If you feel like you are losing interest, have low energy, are more irritable or anxious perhaps, you are showing the signs.
The best way to fight this disorder is to spend time outdoors! So follow my tips and still plan on spending a good amount of time outside each week.
Eating a balanced diet also goes a long way to avoiding these symptoms. Eat a good mix of protein, healthy fat, lots of vegetables and some healthy carb options. My last recommendation is to stick to a consistent sleep schedule. It can make a big difference. Attempt to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day including weekends.
Get off the couch and explore what Norfolk County has to offer. Explore the trails and spend time outdoors connecting to nature and with yourself!
Amélie Chanda is a Norfolk County based wellness coach with a passion for active living. She works with individuals and organizations that are ready to make a commitment to a healthy life. She provides support, tools and motivation to help her clients reach their health goals. In 2017 she launched the #GoNorfolk community initiative to empower people to get off the couch and to explore Norfolk County. She is now the Active Living Ambassador for Norfolk County.