The Dog Days of Summer: The Perfect Time to Turn Up the Heat on Your Wellness!
How did it get to be August?
I know that this time of year is often referred to as the “dog days” of summer. The temperature has been over 100 degrees for the last few weeks, and the humidity reminds me of my childhood growing up in New Jersey. But I don’t care how much hot weather is still ahead. For me, August signals the downhill slide into my favorite time of year–autumn.
While many fitness professionals save their “fresh start for fitness” speech for the New Year, I say, why wait four more months to turn up the volume on your wellness efforts? I can’t think of a better time of year to make the positive lifestyle changes you’ve been thinking about. In spite of the heavy air and dry brittle hillsides, the end of summer can actually be the perfect beginning for your wellness efforts. So, here are my 5 hottest reasons NOT to wait one more day to focus in on your wellness efforts:
• Woo! Hoo! The kids are back in school! (Sorry, did I say that too loud?) Don’t get me wrong, I love having my kids home on vacation. It gives me a chance to take some time off from the “nagging mom” role. But when the car door closes behind them in the school drop-off line, there’s a moment of blissful silence that allows me to take a deep breath and hear myself think. Real or not (most of us still need to head off to work or a pile of laundry), there is a sense of spaciousness and opening that can be an opportunity to take a short walk, plan a healthy meal or workout for later in the day, or just breathe in the silence as you move into the day.
• Cooler weather is on the way. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch right now. But at the very least, the early morning and evening hours will begin to cool off soon. And with longer days still our friend, it can be a chance to get an early morning exercise routine in place before the winter months set in, or head out after dinner for a short walk.
• Fresh produce everywhere! Farmer’s markets, like the Glen Ivy Local Growers and Artisan Market on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons, are brimming with the summer’s bounty. What a great opportunity to venture out of your meat and potatoes comfort zone and strive to get more fresh veggies onto your plate. Even if you can’t do the organic local garden thing right now, big box grocery stores also have their best selection and lowest prices of the year. One of my favorite food blogs, “Naturally Ella,” just posted an amazing recipe for Roasted Veg Tacos with Avocado Cream and Feta. If that doesn’t make you want to be a vegetarian for at least one meal, I don’t know what would!
• Less people at your favorite places for wellness. We love our busy season, but 50 people in the 11am aqua class? Talk about close quarters! The autumn and winter months are a wonderful time to experience the contemplative side of Glen Ivy. Plan a wellness day for yourself. Arrive early and find a quiet corner of the spa. Bring a journal and take some time to reflect on your wellness path. Explore new wellness avenues with a couple of workshops or fitness classes (watch our activities calendar for new aqua classes and wellness workshops coming this fall). Eat a healthy meal and pamper yourself with your favorite body treatment. Head home to the “real world” with a new outlook and plan of action.
• Holiday madness is just around the corner. We know it’s coming–holiday stress along with food temptations around every corner. Why not use the next few months to get the new you into place–that person who continues to schedule exercise and healthy eating into their life regardless of the holiday craziness.
I’ve studied enough yoga and meditation to know that I should “live in the moment” and enjoy each day. I agree . . . most of the time. But when my car thermometer reaches 91 degrees at 9:01 in the morning (no joke–that happened last week), I say, “bring on the pumpkins!” I’m looking forward to my favorite time of year to get moving again, and I hope I’ve convinced you to do the same.
Does anyone else love this time of year for fitness as much as I do? What do you plan to do in the coming months to get your wellness on track? You never know when your story will inspire someone else to make a positive lifestyle change. We’d love to hear your comments.
Meg Root is an ACE Certified Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist. She teaches aqua fitness classes at Glen Ivy, and also enjoys writing on wellness topics. Look for her new workshop, “Write Your Own Wellness Story,” coming to Glen Ivy in September. You can follow her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/WriteYourOwnWellnessStory