Just when you were indulging in fruits and vegetables fresh from the gardens your thoughts begin to lean towards comfort foods, stews and soups.
Just when you built a routine of walking around the lake, block or apartment building your thoughts wander towards fireplaces, hot chocolate and a good book.
Just when you finally fit into those favorite blue shorts your thoughts turn to towards big sweaters and comfortable baggy pants.
But do we have to give up those healthy habits we formed during the summer just because it is getting cold outside? Uh oh, be alert my dear friends. History has told us that when we begin to toss out the awareness we gained of what we are eating, wearing and how we are moving that body in the summer months, we begin to change our minds towards cover up, comfort, and hibernating bear-like behavior.
Be purposeful as you make changes to accommodate fall weather. Fall is a great time to go through recipes and organize an exchange. Following nutritional suggestions of low fat and low salt meals browse your favorites to come up with five you would like to share with others. You can see the importance of growing your group! Everyone brings five recipes and before you know it you have a healthy recipe book with some of your favorites and some new ones to try!
TIP ALERT: Keep frozen veggies in your freezer to add to those soups to boost the nutrition and give your soups a little more volume. If you don’t care for so many veggies in your soups and stews you can always puree them for the benefits.
Moving that body might seem a little more complicated in the cooler months but that is the best time to grab a buddy and go for a walk. Many people don’t do well in the summer heat so encourage someone to take up your habit in the brisk fall air or indoors at a mall. Look in the paper or local offerings and try out a new strength training class. Research shows that strength training keeps depression away! What about that yoga, Tai Chi or Pilates class you have always thought sounded interesting? This is a great transition time to give it a whirl.
TIP ALERT: Create your own human checkerboard or chess game-think while you move.
If you are looking for new ways to get out and discover your community this fall set up a sightseeing adventure to the zoo, Fort Snelling, discovering of neighboring parks for an investigative walk. Organize a leaf find, bird watch or fall flowers around the park.
Keep in mind that working out and watching how you change your daily intake does matter through the changing of the seasons. After all we are not bears, so planning on pulling up those comfy pants and pulling that forgiving sweater over our head does not help our blood pressure, heart rate or overall health.
While the seasons change our focus on our wellness should not. Go ahead and enjoy the temperature change, arrival of fall colors and yes, a change in what we wear. But stay ever mindful of how you take care of your body, after all it is the only one you get. I wish you the very best of the third season of the year!
Beginning Today Lifestyle Wellness
EPPIA is a networking group whose members are committed to the welfare of seniors in our community. EPPIA members meet to learn, exchange information and discuss issues in the field of aging. For more information on EPPIA and local senior resources, please visit our website at www.edenprairieaging.org