Health and Fitness Tips for Autumn


Yes, it's September already. The nights are drawing in, the leaves have started to turn brown and there's a definite chill in the air. That can only mean one thing – autumn has arrived. Whether you love or loathe the ending of summer, you probably don't want to fall off your health and fitness wagon by spending the cold days and long nights curled up in front of the TV with a hot chocolate (not all the time, anyway). It's even more important to stay active and eat the right foods during the autumn and winter as you're more likely to fall ill during the colder seasons.

Here are my three top tips for staying healthy this time of year:

1. Get outside.
If you don't like exercising outside in summer because of the heat, autumn is the perfect time to take advantage of the cooler temperatures and have fun in the great outdoors. I love going to the park in the autumn; there are fewer people around due to the kids being back at school and people not wanting to brave the cold. The beach is also a great bet – you'll probably have it all to yourself! You could even grab your family, wrap up warm and go for a walk in the woods together, enjoying the crunch of crisp fallen leaves underfoot. If you're into gardening, get out there and do some activities such as raking leaves and picking apples (I'm no gardener so you can probably think of a few more than me). Whatever you decide to do, wear layers so you can lose them one by one as your body temperature starts to rise and you don't overheat.

2. Protect yourself from germs.
A lot of people think that the common cold is caused by cold weather. The reason more people get ill during the autumn and winter, however, has nothing to do with the temperature. It's actually because we're inside more and in closer contact with people who may be infected, and therefore more likely to catch bugs from each other. The best way to avoid a cold or flu is to try and stay away from people who are coughing and sneezing. If this isn't possible, try not to touch anything they've touched, make sure you wash your hands more often and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. If you do catch something, avoid spreading it to others by not getting too close to them. If you sneeze or blow your nose, catch it in a tissue, throw it away immediately and wash your hands.

It's definitely worth getting a flu jab – they don't cost much and people at higher risk, such as children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with existing medical conditions which could be worsened by contracting flu are entitled to a free vaccination. Make sure you have one every year. 

3. 'Fall' back into healthy eating. 
This summer you may have indulged a little – how are you supposed to say no to delicious ice cream, sugary drinks and all that barbecued goodness? But it's time to clean up your act. The changing of the seasons is a great time to clear out the kitchen cupboards of all the processed foods you've acquired throughout the year. Be aware that come autumn we start craving starchy comfort foods, so look for healthy alternatives now.

You should always eat with the seasons – that means buying fresh food that's been grown locally rather than shipped in from abroad. It'll be better for both your health and your wallet. In season now are squash, sweet potatoes, corn on the cob, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, parsnips, apples, figs, plums and much more. I love making soups and stews with seasonal autumn vegetables. My favourite is this parsnip and ginger soup recipe which I blogged about a few years ago. 

Autumn is the perfect time to begin new habits to carry you through the colder months. Most people let their health and fitness levels slide around this time of year until January when they vow to make a change. By beginning early – and by early I mean right now – you don't have to let it happen to you this year. Break the cycle!

What do you do to stay fit and healthy during autumn? Let me know in the comments!


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Comments

  1. I'm a runner and autumn is my favourite season for that. I find staying warm enough in winter really hard and I prefer to run at night so the days run away with me a little in summer with the lighter nights. I find it a lot easier to be healthier with my diet in summer, salads galore x

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

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    1. I'm the same. I eat a lot of salads in the summer whereas I prefer warming comfort foods in the autumn and winter. And I agree that autumn is the best season for running - sometimes summer is just too hot to work out outside whereas winter is often too cold with horrible weather conditions.

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  2. These are great suggestions Nic! It’s so easy to get lazier in the colder months so thanks for the important reminder. My favourite thing at the moment is going for a walk to my local park, exercise and fresh air is such a good mood booster. I love your always eat with the seasons advice too, thank you for sharing! <3 xx

    Bexa | www.hellobexa.com

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    1. Thanks Bexa! I find that a walk in the park always boosts my mood. The combination of exercise, natural light and fresh air really help.

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  3. Love this post very good points made! I think getting outdoors in the frosty mornings in Autumn is the best, always refreshing. Taking care of immunity too is so important, I have started taking some elderberry supplements with vit c & zinc as I found it helped so much after I had flu last xmas, hoping to avoid too many bugs this year x

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    1. Taking some supplements and a multivitamin is a great idea and should help to keep illness at bay.

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  4. Soup is such a great food to eat during the colder weather. Not only is it really warming but it's also often low in calories which is great for getting back into healthy habits :) great post x

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    1. I love making soups in the colder seasons. They're warming, filling and full of nutrients.

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  5. These are some really great tips and tricks! Staying healthy in the spring and fall seems to be espechially difficult sometimes but all of these suggestions will definitely help!

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  6. In order to battle the disfortunate weight gain I’ve suddenly found myself carrying, I have decided to join the gym. Now without constant motivation and push I’m afraid I don’t perform well so I’m so happy that included within my monthly cost is a personal trainer. I’m sure to make better progress. Thank you for the tips lovely!

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    1. That's great! Getting a personal trainer is the perfect way to keep you motivated to achieve your goals.

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  7. This is such a useful post Nic! I love autumn cosy food, I love a fresh stew with lots of vegetables! My friend has made me parsnip soup before (I was very apprehensive at first) it was so tasty! Such great tips to improve fitness over autumn! Thank you for sharing! Xx

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    1. Thanks Lauren! Yes, parsnip soup is a lot nicer than it sounds! And stews are a great thing to eat in the autumn too.

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  8. These are some great tips! It's so easy to fall into a lazy routine during the Autumn and Winter season. I used to run bit can't remember the last time I grabbed my running shoes and went for a quick run around the block or the local park - something I used to really enjoy and would like to get back into. Also eating healthier!! I had a very bad (or I guess you could say very good ;-) ) Summer of food. Lol.

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    1. We had such a good summer this year and I enjoyed every second of it! Who was going to say no to ice cream etc when the weather was so hot all the time?

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  9. You shared such amazing tips! Thank YOU so much <3
    https://octoberslallu.blogspot.com/

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  10. These are some really good tips. I am so lazy during winter days so yes I need to start some sort of physical activity.

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    1. I think a lot of people are. It's so much easier to stay at home when it's cold outside, especially in winter when there's lots of nice food around!

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  11. These are such lovely and easy tips. I definitely fell off the wagon because it was so hot in the summer, but now I need to start doing more walking again and eating all of the delicious soups (and trying to avoid too much bread!!)

    Cordelia || cordeliamoor.com

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    1. I love going for walks in the autumn, and soups/stews are pretty much all I eat in the cold weather!

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  12. Great tips! I really need to look after my body, and now would be a great time to start.

    Lize | www.lizeindisneyland.wordpress.com

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  13. I love this post! It's the kick up the backside I need right now as since the weather has been cooling down I have been convincing myself it is too cold to go outside and exercise! Silly I know, I am definitely going to go to my local park and try to eat a little better now so thank you! ☺��

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    1. Thanks Jenn, I'm glad you were inspired by this post. Best of luck with your health and fitness journey!

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  14. Walking is so much better in autumn. Summer walks are always disgustingly hot here. I find it more difficult to eat healthily in the winter than in the summer. All those hot chocolates and cheese fondues are hard to resist!

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    1. I agree that it's harder to eat healthily in the winter, but it's definitely possible. And yes, sometimes it's just too hot to go walking in the summer.

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  15. These are some great but simple tips. I love your point about getting outside, because I'm often quick to say it's too cold in the autumn, when really if I just put a jumper on and get on with it I would be fine. I've gotten into running over the summer and I'm determined not to give that up.

    Megan // https://pixieskiesblog.wordpress.com/

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    1. Yeah, just throw on a few layers and get out there!

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