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Fall is that time of the year where we focus on expressing gratitude, spend more quality time with family, and switch up our daily routines.
Unfortunately, it can also be a time when fatigue tends to set in and make it difficult for you to get back into your everyday routine.
There are several reasons for this, from getting back to work and your normal busy lives after a nice lazy summer, to not getting a chance of spending a lot of time outdoors resulting in low levels of vitamin D.
While you might experience more days where you just want to nap the afternoon away, there are some super easy ways to reduce your overall fatigue and get on with things during the season.
1. Stay Hydrated
Drinking sufficient water is important any time of the year but during the fall your need for it may increase. It is important to drink enough water throughout the fall and continue the habit right through the winter months.
When trying to stay hydrated, avoid sodas and artificially sweetened juices. The high carbohydrates in these drinks can cause a sugar crash. If you find yourself bored with the neutral flavor of still water, try sparkling mineral water. It has all the bubbly feeling of soda without all the sugar.
Alternatively, you can liven up the taste of plain water by adding a tablespoon each of lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. It’s amazing the difference this makes to the taste and without adding any additional calories too!
2. Make Sure You Get Enough Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a crucial nutrient that regulates your body’s absorption of other equally crucial nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and phosphate.
Calcium and phosphorous are important for strong bones and teeth, and magnesium regulates hundreds of different parts of the body from the central nervous system to the immune system to the muscles, heart, and bones.
Exposure to the sun is the best way to get the vitamin D your body needs. However, with the days getting shorter and with most of us staying indoors because of the cold, it is important to find a way to compensate for the loss of sunlight. This is best done by eating foods rich in Vitamin D or by taking Vitamin D supplements.
Foods that are high in vitamin D include cheese, eggs, fish, and whole milk.
Depending on your age, you may need anywhere between 600 and 800 IUs of Vitamin D every single day. (Always check with your doctor before taking any types of supplements.)
3. Eat More Energy-Boosting Superfoods
There is never a wrong time for eating healthy food, but fall is one of the best times to start eating several superfoods if only because this is the time of year most of these foods are in season.
It is a good idea to switch up what you eat in the fall. This will keep it interesting, and it will also encourage you to eat more superfoods. There are many superfoods to eat year-round, but here are some of the best ones specifically for the fall season:
Apples are one of fall’s most powerful superfoods. A single medium-sized apple has fewer calories and carbs than a single 12-ounce can of cola. In addition to that, unlike cola, an apple gets some of its carbs from dietary fiber; it also has no cholesterol or sodium, but it is a good source of potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6.
Another fall superfood that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients is the sweet potato. It is more nutritious for you than the more common white potato because, in addition to being an excellent source of fiber, it also contains calcium, iron, phosphorous, riboflavin, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin E, and vitamin K.
They are also a good way to add a little splash of color to your daily eating regimen.
Yet another superfood that is available in plenty in the fall is butternut squash. Not only does it offer a huge number of nutritional benefits, but you can cook this tasty treat in a lot of different ways.
Lower in carbs than either a sweet potato or a white potato, it’s similar to a pumpkin in taste and texture, but a cup of it gives you more potassium than a whole banana, and it also gives you vitamins A, E, and B-6 in addition to folate, manganese, niacin, pantothenic acid, and thiamine. You can eat it cubed or make it into soup, whatever your imagination can think of.
Beef broth is delicious and healthy throughout the year but can be especially comforting during the colder fall and winter months. Read more about the benefits of beef broth with recipes on how to make your own.
Other Fall Superfoods
While the ones above are the best for reducing fatigue during the season, here are some others to enjoy as well:
4. Stay Active Through the Season
If you have a workout regime that involves walking and/or running outside, or doing any kind of outside physical activity, don’t let the drop in temperature slow you down.
While winter clothes may be too heavy for working out, wearing lightweight long-sleeved workout gear will keep you warm without being burdensome.
If that is not enough to protect your skin from cold temperatures, you might want to consider wearing multiple layers. You could exercise indoors if the cold bothers you, but then you would lose the aforementioned benefits you get from being outside in the sun.
How to Stay Motivated to Exercise In the Fall
While you might be aware of how important it is to stay active in the fall, being motivated is a whole other beast. Here are some quick tips that can help:
Get your family or friends involved. It is so much easier to stay motivated for regular workouts when others are helping to keep you accountable. Start going to the gym with a friend, go on walks during your lunch break with co-workers, or walk the dog in the evenings with the kids. You can go on family hikes, have living room dance parties, or bring friends to a new fitness class. There are so many options!
Find new activities for the fall. There is no reason you have to keep doing the same exercise year-round. Use the change of the season as a good reason to find something new. This might mean weekend bike rides to look at the leaves changing or trying a Zumba class at your gym. Get creative with how you get exercise and have fun with it.
When all else fails, just schedule your daily activity. Turn it into a daily routine, such as doing yoga in the morning after you write in your journal, or doing a home bodyweight workout in the evenings after dinner is cleaned up. If it is something you do every day, you are much more inclined to keep up with it.
Make some short-term, achievable goals. Finally, make some exercise goals for the season, and you will be much more motivated. Write these goals in a planner, bullet journal, or Post-It notes you keep on your fridge. Set goals that are easy to achieve and measurable, like SMART goals.
5. Unplug at Night for Better Sleep
Almost everybody these days uses computer-related technology in some way, shape, or form. Modern-day smartphones are essentially tiny little computers; while the brick-sized cell phones of the 1980s and 1990s only made phone calls, now you can play games, write, and both watch and make movies with them.
And while they can be a useful tool of communication that is becoming more and more essential to have for work, socializing, and even getting from place to place, there is such a thing as using them too much.
Losing Sleep and its Effect on Your Fatigue
Getting enough sleep is essential for making it through the decreasing length of daytime. Every day until the Winter Solstice, which is usually on December 20 or 21, the days keep getting incrementally shorter by a varying amount of time that depends on where you live. You could be losing anywhere from as little as one and a half minutes a day to as much as 15 minutes a day. The closer you live to the Arctic Circle, the more minutes per day you lose from fall to winter.
Start unplugging at night to get better sleep, which means turning off your cell phone (or keeping it away from you if you need it as an alarm clock) and turning off the TV.
6. Don’t Forget Your Regular Medical Check-Ups
It’s a good idea to schedule a check-up with your doctor during the fall season. A routine checkup will determine if you are deficient in any nutrients that may be causing excessive fatigue.
There are also some physical conditions that might cause fatigue, like thyroid conditions, hormonal imbalances, nutrient deficiencies, anemia, kidney and liver disease, and many more.
Fall’s ever-decreasing temperature and gradually shortening days may make it a challenge to keep up your energy levels, but it is not an insurmountable challenge.
Things you can do to increase energy include eating a diet that includes plenty of healthy fall superfoods and foods rich in vitamin D, continuing your exercise regimen while adjusting your attire appropriately, drinking enough liquids to stay hydrated, and putting a limit on your use of electronic devices.
When done consistently, all of these good health practices can keep you rested, relaxed, and revitalized every day throughout the year.