Saying adios to summer is never easy. Especially our summer skin and bods. As the days grow shorter and the weather cools, your brain and body will react to the changing season in more ways than one. From the fading glow on your skin to your increased need of sleep and carbohydrates, you´re probably worrying how you´ll hold on to your summer sizzle as the sun´s heat fades.
According to Steven Sonmore, a licensed acupuncturist and specialist in Chinese medicine, the summer season, which is ruled by the Fire element, is a time when we deal more with the external, such as traveling and being outdoors. “Fall, on the other hand, is associated with the element of Metal, which governs organization, order, communication, the mind, setting limits, and protecting boundaries,” says Sonmore. “Fall is a time of organizing your life for the winter season ahead and coming more inside your body and mind to reflect on your life.” Here are some helpful tips for embracing this new season of possibilities and keeping your summer skin, mind and body fired-up.
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Get the sleep your body craves. When the colder weather starts rolling in, all that summer energy (morning runs on the beach, late-night star gazing) you had seems to disappear overnight so that you want to just stay in bed. In fact your body needs more sleep in the fall, so get to bed at an earlier time or make it a point to sleep in on the weekends. Getting seven to nine hours of sleep is what healthy adults need per night to function at their best. Aside from unattractive circles under your eyes that your summer tan concealed, some of the side effects of lack of sleep include irritability, frequent colds, memory problems and weight gain.
Eat protein and watch out with the carbs. There is something about cold weather that instinctively makes us crave carbs, like a bear getting ready to hibernate for the winter. While a balanced amount of carbs are needed for the body to burn energy, eating more protein will make you feel full and less hungry. In fact, a good dose of protein from animal sources and fish is said not to only help to quell the mid-afternoon munchies, but help calm emotional highs and lows due to the protein making your feel stronger and more grounded.
Keep on moving, don´t stop! What makes our body´s sizzle in the summer is the fact that we are eating less due to the heat and being more active outside than during the cold weather months. If autumn´s new school and work schedule doesn´t allow you time for the gym, try walking or biking to work or to events with your child instead of driving or taking public transportation. There are also plenty of fitness apps to choose from that allow you to customize your workout to your specific needs so that you can do them at home or at your desk. For instance, the “Hot 5” app offers quick five-minute workout bursts that can be used to add on to your own workout or as your entire fitness regime. Five minutes, girls. Who doesn’t have time for that?