September 22, the fall equinox, is the second of the two annual days with exactly equal hours of day and night. With this balance built into the calendar, it’s a perfect time to take an in-depth look at what’s balanced in your body and life.
It’s also a good time to implement new habits, especially if you notice areas of your life that could use a bit more equilibrium. As it gets colder and the days get shorter, your healthy habits will have to change a little bit, and there are different elements to pay attention to. Are you prepared for the cooler months?
You’ll tend to be indoors more
When it’s cold and dark at 6:15 PM, you’ll probably be less amped to do your fartlek training over at the lake. How can keep up your evening speed training? Would buying new, warmer gear help, or will you just take it inside? Maybe it’s time to check out your local climbing club and start working toward getting into 5.10 shape.
Do your energy levels tend to decrease? Make some adjustments to your supplement stack, thinking of adding energizers like ginseng, or upping your dosage of calcium/magnesium.
Should you start taking Vitamin D? (and unless you live at the equator the answer is yes.) What other things can you do to counteract the sedentary tendencies of fall and winter?
You’ll be exposed to more germs/toxins
Being inside, coupled with kids heading back to school, can expose you to scores more germs than your carefree, rooftop days back in July.
Even while your memories are still filled with thoughts of sparklers and ice-cold cocktails, make sure you’re thinking about fortifying your (and your kids’) defense system, with immunity boosters like olive leaf, cordyceps, Vitamin C, and zinc. It’s also time to start transitioning to heartier meals, like slow-roasted foods and root vegetables.
From heating systems to increased exposure to EMFs, you’ll be silently barraged by more body-disrupting toxins now that you’re indoors. Noticing an increase in allergies or headaches? Check for sources of chemicals that you might be sensitive to. Your pumpkin-scented candles might be emitting toxins along with their seasonal smell, so look for products without synthetic fragrance, that use essential oils like clove and vanilla, for a less irritating, warm, autumnal scent.
You’ll have different variables to track
A new season means a new routine. The shorter days makes it to wind down at night. So maybe now’s the time to work on the goal of getting those 7 hours of sleep you’ve been dying for.
Or you might notice that your stress levels (and probably your cortisol) spike every fall, from the end-of-summer family vacation that was more somehow more taxing than relaxing.
A biomarker called fibrinogen tends to increase in colder months, leading to a thickening of the blood. For many people, especially those at risk of cardiovascular disease, knowing if this happens can be extremely useful, letting them know if they might want to take blood thinning supplements or medications when they’re exposed to the cold.
You can check back in at the spring equinox, when it’s time to think about what you need to do as the days get longer. Is that when you start training harder and more often? How can you start building up your energy? Is it time to switch from hearty stews to the sweet leafy greens of spring?
Both equinoxes—with their emphasis on balance—are perfect times to look closely at your overall wellbeing. Take a look back at your weight and pH fluctuations. Any patterns? Evaluate your energy levels and mood. Check in on your lab numbers. How about your healthy habits? What’s working and what isn’t?
Now that the 21-days-to-make-a-habit concept has been debunked, doing full-body check-ins just twice a year (with dates that are already on the calendar for you) is one of those tiny things that you can do to encourage lifelong healthy habits, like the old runner’s motivational trick of just putting on your running shoes.
Keep checking in on your wellness with every equinox, and keep track of any trends. Watching your personal cycles and making healthy adjustments can make it a lot less likely for injury and disease to sneak up on you.
The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.