As the autumn equinox has now been and gone, the days are getting shorter, the number on the central heating dial is getting higher and the carb-loading hibernation process is probably accelerating! Though there may be temptation all around to give into the ways of winter (we are nearing the end of our season here at Dorset Waterpark, so hibernating feels very tempting indeed!), we think that autumn could actually be the perfect time to ‘turn over a new leaf’ and strive to complete the goals that you set at the beginning of the year. Here we take a look at ways to make autumn the new ‘New Year’!
We all do it, we all start the year with good intentions. Eat less, exercise more, drink moderately, read rather than watch TV. Yet it is often only the smugly virtuous few that see those resolutions through for a whole year. However! Just because those goals didn’t make it past February, it doesn’t mean you have to wait until 2018 to pick them back up again. It is said that it takes 21 days to break a habit and 66 days to form a new routine. Well, with just 10 weeks to go until the festive season is upon us you still have plenty of time to make the changes you want in order to leave the year on a real high note. Don’t give up on those goals you set in January just because it’s nearly time to start a brand new set of resolutions - go for the classic sprint finish!
Which brings us nicely onto our first resolution…fitness! Were you planning to be a God-like-gladiator by spring? A marathon mad, gym bunny before the end of March? Was the reality more limp lifting and a plod on a treadmill? We’ve been there! But fear not, October is one of the most perfect months to kickstart a new bout of healthy living for many, many reasons. We have been lucky enough to be experiencing somewhat of an Indian summer over the last couple of weeks meaning an evening run along the beautiful Dorset beaches is often complete with a still warmth and a stunning sunset to boot. It’s not half as taxing than on those balmy summer nights when you were sweating before you even left the door! The lakes here at Dorset Waterpark are not yet too chilly either and the average session here burns up to 600 calories, plus cold water swimming is great for heart health! Another reward of kick-starting a new exercise regime pre-winter is that you are far more likely to haul yourself out of bed on those pitch-black, drizzly mornings if you’ve got into the routine in lighter, sunnier climates. Why not consider setting yourself a personal fitness challenge for early spring, encouraging you to get your head into the game pre-christmas making it feel like plain sailing after the christmas excess? If you needed any further persuading that these cooler days are the perfect pairing for a pavement pummeling, what greater reward could there be for your aching muscles than a scrumptious warm bath? Much more appealing than the ice baths of summer!
Perhaps your resolutions were focussed more on flexing your cranium than your muscles? I’m going to guess that we’re all guilty of favouring an evening in front of the television over researching the philosophical musings of Plato?! But with the nights drawing in, there is plenty more of each evening in to make the most of, meaning it’s far easier to set-aside some time for more intellectual hobbies while still getting your fix of Gogglebox! With 2 and a half months to go until we reach the New Year, why not set yourself the 10 book challenge? Pick a range of different genres and dedicate an hour or two each evening to delving into a new literary world for a while? It is easier than you may think to pace through the pages - Pride and Prejudice takes just 6.7 hours to read on average, a mere 5.5 hours to leap from cover to cover of To Kill A Mockingbird and a hardly worth picking up, it’s over so soon 2.6 hours to get to grips with The Great Gatsby. So why not ditch the remote, grab a mug of tea and loosen up those brain lobes with a cranial workout?
Did the Christmas chocolate disappear before Boxing Day leaving you with nothing but a pledge to eat solely steamed kale broth until next year’s festivities? Let’s be honest, a chargrilled lettuce heart just isn’t going to cut it for more than one rather depressing lunch. But this is not to say that it is taxing to make healthy choices for the majority over the next couple of months giving you a nutritious lift at the end of the year. As the temperature fluctuates from warm to cold, coughs and sneezes spread like wildfire, and the best way to fight these nasty bugs is through nutrition rather than lemsip! Don’t resign yourself to rabbit food, it’s easy peasy to eat healthily when a warming soup or broth is on hand to warm your cockles - from the perfect chicken soup for the soul to this flu-fighting super soup by Dale Pinnock, the medicinal chef - there are tons of recipes that you can chuck on your autumnal menu. The advantage of having one final surge on the healthy eating front at this time of year is that you’ll be feeling great by Christmas and New Year meaning that you don’t have to feel guilty about having a week of indulging in mince pies and multiple sherrys!