Fall Fitness & Nutrition.

I'm certainly not a health expert (after next May, perhaps?), but I know how hard it is to form healthy routines, especially as days get cooler and darker and the gym starts to seem so terribly far away. A few friends have asked what works with my schedule, so I thought I'd share some ideas!

*Build a routine around when you're going to work out and drop it into your planner. It's hard for me to skip the gym when I'm reminded every time I open that little book. 
*Vary your workout. I generally focus on strength training at home (this site is amazing) on Monday morning (it's so much harder to get to the gym the morning after a relaxing weekend), then I head to the gym on Wednesday and Friday mornings for cardio (treadmill, elliptical or bike). On Saturday mornings, I take a long run outside during warmer months and at the gym in the winter. This keeps things from becoming mundane. 
*Have healthy snacks like Greek yogurt, fruit and whole grain cereals available in the afternoon. Personally, I think probiotics are the greatest, and a good Greek yogurt (I love Trader Joe's vanilla bean) can tide you over until dinner. 
*Get your folic acid, whether it's from cereal, leafy greens, bananas or a prenatal supplement. I'm not pregnant, but I take prenatal vitamins every morning. It's important for women of childbearing age (and all women, for that matter) to get enough folic acid; read about the many reasons to get enough here
*Pack your gym bag the night before. If I pack my bag at night, I know that getting dressed and walking Gus are the only things between me and my workout. 
*Keep an extra yoga mat at work. I keep one under my desk so that I can take a quick yoga class after work if I have the urge. Something about renting a mat creeps me out a little.
*Get creative with smoothies and salads, and make ahead of time if you can. I blend up a smoothie (like this one or this one) the night before, then defrost it in the microwave at work. I usually stop by Just Salad or a deli if I'm in a rush at dinner time, and trying new dressings and add-ons keeps things (relatively) exciting.

I think this is a reasonable place to start if you're working long hours and trying to balance other aspects of life. Hope you're enjoying a healthy autumn!