It’s easy to fall into the trap of “anything goes” vacay-mindset for the summer. It could be overindulging on certain foods like barbecue, ice cream, or wine. Or perhaps you got settled in to working “summer hours” (aka coming in a little late or going home a little early — or both). Maybe even skipped working out altogether and opted to hang with friends instead. There’s no shame in any of that. In fact, these could be a mark of a well-spent summer. But now that summer has ended, you may be itching to get back on track, and recommit to clean eating, working out, and better everyday habits heading into the cooler months.
Here are a few simple ways you can prepare to hit reset after Labor Day:
It’s easy to ignore your hydration in the summer — the temptation of the sun is too tempting. So, bump up your water intake for a few days. But don’t just drink water, also consider eating more hydrating foods like salad greens, berries, melons, tomatoes, and cucumbers to combat travel-or season-related dehydration. Not only will staying hydrated help diminish belly bloat, it also wards off constipation. Sip that water throughout the day, and try to double your water intake as a result.
Get Back to Basics
Have you overindulged on restaurant food over the summer? Let’s get back to the healthy staples: make some overnight oats with plain Greek yogurt, almond milk, chia seeds, and fruit. Or load up on grain bowls made with veggies, lean chicken or fish, beans, and avocado. These foods will help your skin and digestion so you can maintain that summer glow.
Say No to Sugar and Alcohol
Nothing makes you feel more bloated and overall “blah” than enjoying desserts and cocktails for a week straight. Nix these indulgences post Labor Day and up your fresh produce and protein intake instead. Try snacking on fruit, almonds, spinach, fish, and mushrooms, instead. Your body will thank you.
En route home or the weekend before you head into your work week, grab your calendar and figure out when to schedule in exercise during the week. Early morning? After work? Lunch break? View your schedule and assess when you can carve out time. Schedule your workout, so whatever else you need to do (e.g. grocery shopping, laundry, etc.), you can wiggle in a workout.
When getting back into your ideal everyday routine, it can feel a bit uncomfortable and messy. Find a word, phrase, or quote to anchor your focus for the week and to help you move towards your goals. Every morning and throughout the day, repeat your inspirational thought like a mantra. Think on it until the words sink into your values and beliefs.
Find an Activity You Enjoy
It can be easy to put pressure on ourselves to go for a hard-core, vigorous exercise after we’re out of routine for a long period of time. Instead of punishing our bodies for avoiding exercise, find an activity you enjoy (e.g. dancing, pick-up basketball, yoga, etc.) and simply get your body and your heart rate going.
Temporarily Tame Your Social Life
Getting back on track when you’re the social butterfly can be quite difficult — especially after Labor Day. But after the excitement of the season, a little downtime might be necessary. Try to schedule your evenings with dedicated workout times or a home-cooked meal, especially for the first week after Labor Day.
Amp Your Vitamins
Supplements are a great way of boosting your health on top of a balanced, healthful diet. If you’ve neglected making healthy choices throughout the summer, supplements are a great way of jump-starting your healthy habits.
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It’s not easy coming back to work after Labor Day, but if you follow these tips, you’ll be earning that pumpkin beer or that hard cider in no time!
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