As the days and nights start to become cooler, many of us shift our focus to getting back into shape for fall.
But why fall you may be asking- isn’t summer when everyone wants to look great?
Yes, it is.
But with fall and the crisp autumn air comes a renewed, invigorated, and refreshed mindset!
Rather than looking at winter as a time to hibernate, curl up and indulge in comfort foods, we can use it as a chance to focus on ourselves and make those long-lasting changes.
This blog post will cover how tweaking your current habits with small changes can help you reach your fitness goals without getting overwhelmed.
And don’t forget to print your free, quick, and simple PDF snack list down below.
Ok, let’s jump in!
1.) Prioritize Quality Sleep
Sleep is important as we age because it’s critical in hormone regulation, immune function, and cellular repair.
Lack of sleep leads to increased stress hormone levels, which can then contribute to weight gain, mood swings, and weaker immunity.
And if that wasn’t enough- sleep deprivation can be a culprit that causes duller skin, dark circles under the eyes, and an increase in fine lines and wrinkles.
During sleep, the body produces collagen, which helps keep skin firm and youthful-looking so overall, sleep is essential for maintaining health and supporting a radiant and youthful appearance.
2.) Increase Your Fiber Intake
Increasing fiber intake is a must as we age because it helps improve digestion, and reduces the risk of chronic diseases such as:
- heart disease, stroke, diabetes
- regulates blood sugar levels,
- lower cholesterol levels,
- and aids in maintaining a healthy weight.
Increasing dietary fiber intake, especially cereal fiber (found in bran, 100% whole wheat bread and pasta, brown rice, seeds, barley, etc.), is associated with a reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.
As we age, our nutritional needs change, and increasing fiber intake is an easy way to support overall health and well-being.
Here’s a list of foods high in fiber:
|Split peas||Lentils||Black beans|
|Lima beans||Chickpeas||Kidney beans|
|Brussels sprouts||Sweet potato||Carrots|
|Brown rice||Whole wheat pasta||Whole grain bread|
|Popcorn||Dark chocolate||Coconut meat|
And here are some snack ideas to make with those high-fiber foods:
- Roasted beetroot chips with a side of hummus made from chickpeas
- Broccoli florets roasted with garlic and Parmesan cheese
- Spinach and artichoke dip served with whole-grain pita chips
- Black bean and corn salsa served with baked tortilla chips
- Baked sweet potato fries seasoned with paprika and cumin
I hope these snack ideas inspire you to incorporate more fiber-rich foods into your diet in creative and delicious ways!
3.) Swap Out Processed Snacks
Ditch unhealthy snacks!
Because our bodies become less efficient at processing and metabolizing unhealthy foods as we age, unhealthy snacks high in sugar, saturated fat, and refined carbohydrates can contribute to:
- weight gain, inflammation, insulin resistance, and other health issues.
And, unhealthy snacks cause a cycle of cravings and energy crashes that ultimately leaves us feeling like cr*p.
So instead, here’s a list of snacks that are fast, simple, and crush cravings:
- Frozen grapes – wash grapes and freeze them for a cool, refreshing snack that’s also healthy, and pair them with 1 slice of PB toast yum!
- Smoothie bowl – blend frozen mixed berries, 1 banana, some spinach or kale, and non-dairy milk, then top with granola, chia seeds, and sliced fruit.
- Greek yogurt parfait – layer plain Greek yogurt, mixed berries, and a drizzle of honey for a sweet and creamy treat.
- Banana ice cream – blend frozen bananas in a food processor until smooth and creamy, then sprinkle with chopped nuts or dark chocolate chips.
- Energy balls – mix together dates, nuts, and cocoa powder, then roll them into bite-sized balls for a healthy and sweet snack.
I hope these ideas were also helpful (and you know there’s more- just be sure to print the printable)!
Here are 5 savory healthy snack ideas that you might enjoy:
- Roasted chickpeas – toss cooked chickpeas in olive oil and your preferred seasoning (such as paprika or garlic powder) and roast in the oven until crispy. Pair with some beautiful cheese and crackers.
- Veggie sticks with hummus – cut up celery, carrots, cucumber, and bell peppers and dip them in hummus for a crunchy and satisfying snack.
- Rice cakes with avocado and tomato – spread mashed avocado on a rice cake and top with sliced tomato and a sprinkle of sea salt.
- Baked sweet potato wedges – cut a sweet potato into wedges, toss with olive oil and your preferred seasoning (such as cumin or chili powder), then bake until tender and crispy.
- Edamame – boiled or steamed edamame pods sprinkled with sea salt make for a high protein and fiber-rich snack.
I hope these savory healthy snack ideas inspire you to try something new!
For the complete list of fiber-rich foods, and all of these simple sweet and savory snack ideas (plus a few more)
for your free, downloadable, printable PDFs.
4.) Incorporate Strength Training
Strength training is crucial for women over 40 for several reasons.
Here are some facts about the benefits of strength training:
- After the age of 30, we lose a small amount of muscle mass each year; this is called sarcopenia and it accelerates after the age of 40. Strength training prevents muscle loss and maintains muscle mass.
- Women over 40 are at higher risk of developing osteoporosis, a condition in which bones become weak and brittle. Strength training helps increase bone density and reduces the risk.
- As we age, our metabolism slows down, making it easier to gain weight. Strength training helps boost metabolism and increases calorie burn, even at rest.
- Strength training improves balance, coordination, and stability, reducing the risk of falls and other injuries.
- It regulates hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, and insulin, which can become imbalanced in us women as we age.
- Strength training improves body composition, increases strength, and enhances overall physicality, which greatly improves confidence and self-esteem.
- And it can help improve posture, alignment, and joint stability, reducing chronic pain associated with conditions such as arthritis and back pain.
5.) Make Time for Stretching
Stretching is important for women over 40 for several reasons:
- As we age, our muscles naturally become less flexible and stiffer, leading to decreased range of motion and an increased risk of injury. Stretching improves flexibility and maintains range of motion.
- Stretching before and after exercise can help reduce the risk of injury by preparing the muscles and joints for physical activity.
- Poor posture can contribute to back pain, neck pain, and other issues. Stretching helps improve posture by lengthening tight muscles and reducing tension.
- Stretching can increase blood flow to the muscles, which promotes healing and reduce muscle soreness.
- Stretching can help reduce stress and promote relaxation by releasing tension in the muscles and especially if you also practice deep breathing.
- Regular stretching can help improve balance and coordination overall, reducing the risk of falls and other accidents.
- Stretching, in a nutshell, helps your overall physicality by increasing flexibility, reducing muscle soreness, and improving your range of motion!
Fall Workout Ideas
Here are a few ideas on how to stretch and workout in the fall time:
Go for a hike:
Hiking’s a great way to enjoy the beautiful fall scenery while getting exercise. Choose a trail with varying terrain to challenge your muscles and improve your balance.
Fall’s a great time to start a yoga practice, as it can help reduce stress and promote relaxation. Look for outdoor yoga classes in your area or try an online class from home.
Do a bodyweight workout:
No gym? No problem! You can get a great workout using just your own body weight. Try exercises like squats, lunges, push-ups, and planks to build strength and endurance.
Take a dance class:
Dancing is a fun and social way to get exercise. Look for local dance studios or online classes that offer styles like salsa, big-band, or ballroom dancing. Or, try Zumba!
Stretch at home:
Even if you don’t have a lot of time, taking a few minutes each day to stretch can help improve flexibility and reduce muscle tension. Try stretching your hamstrings, quads, hips, chest, and shoulders to target areas that can become tight with age.
Go for a bike ride:
Fall weather can be perfect for a bike ride, allowing you to enjoy the crisp air and changing colors of the leaves. Aaahhhh… and cycling is a great low-impact exercise that helps cardiovascular health and leg strength.
Fall is the most gorgeous time of year to re-evaluate your health and nutrition habits.
This blog post highlighted the essential diet tips that can help you start feeling energized instead of sluggish.
While some of these may be familiar ideas to you, they can only make a difference if you put them into action.
And I’ll leave you with a last bonus tip-
Drink lots of water!
Staying properly hydrated can help keep your energy levels high, prevent headaches, and support your body’s natural detoxification process.
So make sure to get your intake up!
These simple tips can make a world of difference in how you feel this fall season.
Now, it’s time to take action and get started.