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Bring on Fall!

Bring on Fall!

I hope everyone enjoyed the last official summer weekend of 2015. Now that we’re just two days away from the official start of fall, I can sum up how I’m feeling in one word: overwhelmed.

I can’t explain why, but this year I’m finding it harder to get back to the normal swing of things following the easier, breezier days of summer. The crowds returning from their beach houses to crowd the neighborhood, the students swarming the streets and subways and the sudden spike in my freelance work load has me struggling to find a balance in my daily routine.

However, as I soaked up my last dose of summer sun over the weekend, I had an epiphany: worrying about why it’s taking some extra time to get back to normal is 1oo-percent non-productive. I realized I’m better off using my energy to push forward and keep on top of the elements I can control. For me, that means making sure I find time to exercise. My brain functions best when I get that daily dose of endorphins only a good sweat can provide.

While I hope you find your own strength through exercise, I’m using this Motivation Monday post to encourage you to find 30 or 60 minutes in a day to do whatever helps you deal with your own demands of the new season. Maybe you relish a daily walk or find comfort preparing healthy meals. Maybe this is the season you start adding a hot bath or an extra five minutes to a shower at night to unwind or simply catch up with some old friends on an old-fashioned telephone call. We all deserve to find some moments of peace in the midst of our demanding daily grinds. If you have a secret for staying grounded when things get overwhelming, I’d love to hear about it!

So if you feel like you haven’t gotten it together for the new season, remember, you’re not alone. (And seriously, who really has it altogether all the time?) Take a few deep breaths, find one constant to get you through whatever the day throws at you and let’s welcome a fall filled with new chances to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

Don’t Let The Dark Sabotage Your Healthy Habits!

Food can't fix emotionsLet me be the first fitness fanatic to admit this can be a tough time of year to stay motivated. When it gets dark as early as 5 pm, it’s easy to want to skip the workout, head straight to a warm home and fill up on comfort food and couch-potato time. So on this particular Motivation Monday, I offer some tips to keep your health and fitness goals on track during this colder, darker time of year.

  • Mix things up: If you’re using every excuse in the book not to go to that 7 pm spin class, check your gym’s group exercise schedule for an alternative. Maybe it’s time to give the morning workout routine a try. If you have to drop the kids off at school, leave the house dressed in your workout wear and head straight to the gym after you say your goodbyes. This way you get your daily dose of exercise before the rest of the day interferes and while you still have sunlight to give you that natural boost of energy.
  • Lean on Your Fitness Friends: Whether you want the extra motivation to stick with your evening workouts or need help adjusting to a new morning or lunchtime routine, a workout buddy can help keep you on track. Sometimes just knowing you have a friend holding a spot for you is just enough of a push to keep you from throwing in the towel.
  • Beat the Nighttime Snack Monster: Darker, colder nights can save you some money if you decide to spend more time catching up with the DVR and less time at your favorite happy hour haunts. However, that extra couch time can lead to a steady surge of snack attacks. Before you give in to temptation, make sure you’re really hungry and not just bored. For the times you really do need a little something, be sure you have a good stockpile of healthier alternatives at home. Clementines, apples and frozen grapes can satisfy a sweet tooth and 94% fat-free popcorn is always a crowd pleaser. I’m also a big fan of Skinny Cow fudge bars. They’re the only low-fat dessert option that satisfies me after only one serving.

One final note, if you feel a little more sluggish and fatigued than usual these days, you’re not alone. The lack of sunlight and drop in temperatures can be a depressing mix for even the perkiest of people. Remember, no matter what the season, exercise is one of the best natural mood boosters and a surefire activity to keep you on track with your year-round efforts to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

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