Back-to-school sales are a sure sign: It’s time to unpack the jackets and start bugging your kids about their homework again. And if you slacked off on your wellness habits during cookout and pool party season, it’s time to fall back into a healthier routine. Here’s how:
- Set a firm bedtime for yourself. Long days often mean late nights in summer. Recommit to getting to bed on time. You’re more likely to make poor decisions about food when you don’t get enough sleep. Plus, hormones produced during sleep affect your metabolism—this may be another way that lack of sleep is linked to weight gain. Allow for at least seven hours of nightly snoozing.
- Beware the pumpkin spice trap. As if lattes and donuts weren’t already tempting enough, adding pumpkin spice makes them even more alluring—and even higher in sugar, calories, and sometimes sodium. For a healthier snack with the same enticing aroma, make your own pumpkin spice mix (2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ginger, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, and ½ teaspoon cloves). Then toss a little of the spice mix and a bit of oil with unsalted, unbuttered popcorn—yum!
- Go for a walk, hike, or bike ride. Autumn weather is perfect for outdoor activities—not too hot, not too cold. And once the leaves fall, raking them up can burn about 330 calories per hour.