Hello friends! How are you? I’ve just returned from one of my favorite places (Seaside Beach), and feel like I’m truly in the midst of a transition. I’m talking about that summer to fall transition that can be so tough! For instance, I really didn’t mean to take 3 months off from blogging. That was definitely not the plan but it just kinda happened, you know? I’m sure you can identify. You may have had plans this summer to do something and then…it just didn’t happen. Perhaps you traveled, tended to your kids, completed some training, lost/got a job, had unexpected life events, or all of the above. But the point is, you and I are now at a transition point. Back to school season means fall is right around the corner and it’s time to establish routines again. I thought it would be cool to share some of my favorite back to school tips with you today. But don’t let the title of this post fool you! These back to school tips are practical and relevant even if you don’t have kids going back to school.
So, with that said, here are my three focus areas when it comes to establishing my health and wellness routines for the fall and beyond. I hope they are helpful for you as well!
Back to School Tip #1: Food & Drink
If you’re like me, the lazy days of summer led to a more relaxed diet. I tried new foods, experimented with new recipes, drank less water, and had some fruity cocktails while hanging out on my favorite beach. It felt great then, but now it’s time to come back to reality.
The fall season is the perfect time to get back to basics. I’m planning to cook more at home, which saves money, makes it easier to control the ingredients within my meals (like added sugar and salt, just to name a few), and makes it easier to control how my meal is prepared (e.g., bake instead of fry). Fall is also a great opportunity to eat more whole foods because so many fruits and vegetables are in season. Consuming in-season produce means it’s fresher (because it’s just been harvested), it’s more bountiful, and it’s likely to be cheaper too.
Just look at this list of fruits and vegetables that have seasonal peaks during the fall months: nectarines, peaches, pears, pomegranates, apples, blackberries, grapes, and kiwi, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, mushrooms, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, winter squash, acorn squash, artichoke, bell peppers, brussels sprouts, and butternut squash. Whew, that’s a lot! It’s easy to make soups, salads, omelets, sheet pan meals, and more with all of these produce options.
If you’re looking for ways to cook more at home, I have some great suggestions for you. Just check out my post HERE.
In addition, I’m taking this season as an opportunity to cut back on the sugary cocktails and renew my water intake goals. Why? Alcohol has absolutely no nutritional value and sugary cocktails are full of, well, added sugar. Water, on the other hand, is not only useful for your body but needed for your body to thrive. Check out this POST for reasons why your body needs water, and how you can drink more water starting today!
Back to School Tip #2: Exercise
In many areas of the country (except in my home state of Texas) the temperatures are starting to drop. That means it should be easier to: go outside, get some fresh air, get some vitamin D, and exercise! I totally would if I could, but as I type these words, it’s 100℉ outside. We survive steamy Texas days like this by staying inside, friends!
But even though I’m staying close to my air conditioner, I plan to keep a consistent exercise routine by doing HIIT classes at home. You can check out this POST to read more about that. Use it as motivation especially if your lazy summer included a lackadaisical workout program (or none at all). That’s ok. This is your moment to get into the game! As intimidating as it may feel to start (or restart) a workout regimen, it’s worth the effort. The first day back will likely be rough, but it gets better from there I promise!
If you need help in terms of how to start and keep a new fitness routine, check out my post HERE. Also, make sure your exercise program includes these three components:
- Cardio – Raising your heart rate for at least 20 minutes or more, which will build cardiovascular endurance.
- Mobility – Lengthening your muscles and utilizing movement in all 3 planes of motion (forward/backward, side-to-side, and rotational).
- Strength – Contracting your muscles to build muscular strength and endurance.
Back to School Tip #3: Sleep
My sleep routine was all over the place during the summer, but I consider this to be the time to establish a good sleep schedule. Parents set bedtimes for their kids, but adults need schedules too!
Good quality sleep helps prevent serious health issues. When you don’t get enough sleep, it can lead to high blood pressure, depression, weight gain, diabetes, mood disturbances, the development of conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, and an increased risk for some cancers. Second, quality sleep helps to slow the aging process. Lack of sleep stresses your skin which can lead to breakouts. This happens because cortisol levels don’t have a chance to decrease during sleep, and your skin can’t regenerate and protect itself. And when cortisol levels remain high, collagen breaks down. Collagen is so magical because it helps your skin look youthful.
I have 5 great tips on how you can sleep better and develop a consistent sleep routine. Just check out my post HERE. Plus, simple stretches can prepare your body for rest. Check out this video and follow along as I walk you through the stretches. They will definitely help you relax before bedtime!
Friends, I hope these back to school tips have been super helpful. I know that transitioning from one season to the next is never easy. But I think it can be especially challenging if you’ve had a lazy summer. Try some or all of the back to school tips above and let me know what works for you!
This is my absolute favorite time of year, and I think it can be yours too. Let’s cheer each other on as we start our new routines and enjoy all that this season has to offer.
Have a good one!
Mrs. Traylor is a Fitness Instructor, NASM Certified Personal Trainer & Nutrition Coach, AFPA Certified Prenatal and Postnatal Fitness Specialist, wife, and momma who provides actionable advice for positive lifestyle changes with fitness, nutrition, and wellness. Read about Wendy’s inspiring entrepreneurial journey, and subscribe to Wendy’s newsletter here!