It seems like we wait all year for summer to arrive, and then before you know it’s over. I’ve never really grown out of that “Back To School” mentality, so looking towards September always feels as much like a new year as January. I think it helps that I work in the fitness industry where September is one of our two big “surges” as it seems to be when most everybody starts moving back into their regular routines.
After a lovely summer (and we have had lovely summer here in Nova Scotia!) of less structure and more fun, September starts creeping up on us and reminds all us Canadians that it is time to refocus and get back on track. Few people can say that they don’t indulge in a few extra seasonal treats in the summertime, and after 8 weeks of vacations and beach parties and fun evenings with friends – we are all in need of a little healthy reset!
But where do you start? It can feel over whelming to try to get back to where you were, or where you want to be. The worst thing you can do is try to go from zero to sixty in ten seconds. What I mean is that it’s always bad news to try to go immediately from a more relaxed nutrition and exercise regime, right back into a super strict or structured one. Moving from summer into autumn can be stressful enough with the return to school and activities starting again, the last thing you want to do is add to the stress as you try to fall back into a routine.
My theory has always been the same. Start with something easy, and then build on it from there. Slow and steady wins the race my friends. That’s why I believe following a few essential steps and having the right information, forming those healthy habits can be simple – and stress free!
Step 1 – Vitamins & Supplements
With the number of options and amount of information available, trying to select the right vitamins and supplements for a healthier lifestyle can be overwhelming. Jamieson Essentials makes it easy by identifying the four products that best meet the health needs of Canadians.
With nearly 100 years of experience, Jamieson’s team of experts have done the work for you and identified Multivitamins, Omega-3, Probiotics and Vitamin D as the four products Canadians should take every day as a foundation for healthier living.
I started out strong this year taking the Jamieson Essentials, as well as a few other supplements deemed necessary for me due to my hormonal imbalance issues. But like many people, it’s easy for me to “fall off the wagon” when things seem to be going well For a while this spring I didn’t take anything at all, then my hormone imbalance quite promptly reminded me that it’s imperative for me to stick with my vitamins and supplements to maintain my health. Once I started taking them all again, I’m happy to report the symptoms I was experiencing disappeared completely. Fortunately it was nothing serious, but don’t make the same mistake as me, when your bottle empties – go buy another one!
So step one – start taking your vitamins and supplements again. If you are out, or not sure where to start or what to get – Jamieson has already figured it out for you! At my local grocery store, they have a very convenient display very near to the checkout making it easy to remember to pick up what you need!
Step 2 – Drink That Water
Yes, yes, yes, I know. I’m a boring broken record. But the truth is the truth. Water makes up the majority of our body. Without proper hydration, our body cannot function properly. So before you worry about digging out your fitness gear, dig out that water bottle and fill it up! It’s easy to get out of the habit of drinking water, especially when there are more exciting things floating around at summer gatherings, but now is the time to get serious about hydration again. Especially if you are going to be adding or re-adding exercise into your routine soon.
Yes, the first few days will be tough. Yes, you’ll need to pee constantly. And yes, your body will adapt and you will once again be able to make it through a full 30 minute TV show without having to pee. But you gotta get through those first few days first.
The amount of water each person needs varies, but as a good starting point, try to get 1.5-2 litres of water/day.
Bonus – you can use that water to take your vitamins and supplements! 😉
Step 3 – Ease Into It
Maybe you were running 5 miles 3x/week back in May, but haven’t ran a step all summer. You can’t expect to start right back at the same place you were then. Even if you’re not a runner, any hiatus from training requires the same.
After an 8 week hiatus from exercise, you can expect to have lost as much as 35% muscle strength, and 18% of your aerobic endurance. That might not sound like much, but it can take up to six weeks to get back to where you were.
Start out by doing 1/4 of the cardio you were doing before. So if you were running 5 miles prior to your break, start with 1.25 miles and slowly build from there.
I’ve seem too many people dive head first into a new exercise regime only to burn out or injure themselves in the first couple weeks because they tried to do too much too quickly.
Cut yourself some slack. Nobody can take two months off and expect not to experience some loss in fitness! And bonus, while you might not be where you once were, you’re still ahead of the you that was sitting on the couch!
Step 4 – Put Some Greens On It
Some people thrive in the summer with all the fresh product that is available. They eat more healthy foods than usual because they are fresh, local, and inexpensive. But if you aren’t one of those people, it’s time to sit down the onion rings and pick up a fresh vegetable.
September is still an amazing time to eat fresh, local produce, so take advantage! This is one of the few times of year you can get fresh produce for cheaper than a meal at a fast food restaurant. Enjoy salads and raw veggies with dip, make salsa and relish you can use all year-long. But for the love of everything, if you do nothing else, put some greens on it.
Putting it all together…
I hope this post has helped you see that it doesn’t have to be extreme or stressful to get back into your routine, or to develop a couple new healthy habits along the way. Keep it simple. Start by taking your Jamieson Essentials. Wash it down with some water. Move a bit – but not too much too soon, and eat some greens. Before you know it you’ll be back on track, and ready to take on whatever life throws at you!
What is one healthy habit you are looking forward to putting back into your routine this fall?
For me it’s going to be keeping a balance between work and rest. When you exercise for a living it can be easy to overdo it. Because I teach at odd times (in the morning, late afternoon and evenings), it still feels weird to me to take time off in the afternoon when others are working – even though I know they’ll be home from work in the evening when I’m not. Even after nearly a decade, I still struggle with this one!
Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Jamieson Essentials, all opinions expressed are entirely my own.