5 expert tips to optimize your fall fitness regime
Summer might be behind us this year, but that doesn’t mean we can forget about our fitness regime. There’s no better way to enjoy the change in season than to get outside and get fit with your favorite local partner. And as the days get shorter, hitting the gym even when it’s dark and rainy is the best way to beat the winter blues. But did you know that nutrition is just as important to your health as staying active? A strong, balanced diet won’t just optimize your exercise regime but will help your body fight off cold and flu and help regenerate your muscles.
To find out exactly how to get through fall and winter happy and healthy, we asked fitness trainer Leo from Cologne-based functional training gym Kader1 to share his 5 fail-safe nutritional and health tips.
1. Don’t forget your vitamins
Leo says that a healthy fall diet needs to include plenty of fruit and vegetables with meals that balance proteins, fats and carbohydrates. But one crucial part of our diet that’s almost certain to be missing during the darker season is vitamin D. “I recommend getting your vitamin D levels tested and if necessary supplement them with vitamin D3 and K2. Because we just don’t get enough sun in Germany…”
As well as vitamin D, experts recommend taking Omega-3 fish oil to support your brain, heart and vision, vitamin C to support your immune system and give you healthy skin, and Vitamin B for extra energy. If you experience fatigue, depression, low energy or brittle hair during the colder months, getting your vitamin levels checked tells you what supplements you should be taking. Once you get them back in balance you’ll feel more energized, happier and able to handle a long winter.
2. Stock up on super-nutrients
Leo says the best foods to boost your immune system are super-nutrients. That means plenty of fruit and veg such as kiwis, blueberries, broccoli, spinach, kale as well as salmon, potatoes and shellfish. These nutrient-dense foods are full of fatty acids, Omega-3, proteins, vitamins and minerals that boost your immune system and help you ward off all kinds of bacteria. They’re also proven to increase your energy and motivation, so you’ll be wide awake for that early morning HIIT class… or slightly more awake, anyway.
3. Do what you love
“The most sensible thing is to do what you enjoy,” Leo says. “Because that’s what you’ll keep turning up for, and continuity is the most important thing at the end of the day!” Leo says he loves to combine endurance training such as cycling or running with strength training as it’s a great way to stay energized and in shape. “When you combine endurance with strength training you optimize your musculoskeletal system, such as your muscles and tendons, which makes you less prone to injury.”
If running, cycling and weight-lifting sounds a bit too intense for you this fall, why not try something a little more relaxing and discover the flow of yoga at one of our many partners across Germany. If you want to combine strength, core-work and breath-work then try Pilates, or if you want to get your sweat on and combine strength and endurance in one workout, pay a visit to Beat81. Their classes are hard work but they’re over in 45 minutes so you can relax for the rest of the day.
4. Sleep is everything
Leo says that sleep is just as important as fitness and nutrition, especially during the darker months. Our muscles repair while we sleep, and without sufficient rest, our bodies and brains can’t function at their best. Sleep also helps boost your immune system and gives you energy for the day ahead. Many people find they need more sleep during the colder season, and this is because due to the lack of sunlight more melatonin is produced which makes us tired. However, if you have trouble sleeping there are many natural remedies to explore with Urban Sports Club. Regular meditation helps keep those stressful thoughts at bay so you can drop off in peace, while yin yoga is an incredible way to relax and unwind before bed. People who work out during the day are more likely to sleep better at night, so visit one of our fitness partners to help fight the effects of insomnia.
5. Soothe your sweet tooth
Leo says there’s no need to deny yourself when you get a craving for something sweet – instead find a healthy alternative that will add nutrients to your diet at the same time as soothing your sweet tooth. “I recommend Medjoul dates,” says Leo. “They’re sweet and delicious with significantly less fat than chocolate, but many more micronutrients!” Leo recommends eating two or three dates a day; they’re full of sugar, and although it’s natural it still isn’t good in large quantities.
Ultimately, the secret to getting through fall fit and healthy lies in sleep, nutrition and fitness. Now more than ever it’s important we take care of our health and wellbeing, not just for our physical health, but our mental health too. Urban Sports Club members can enjoy over 50 types of sports in thousands of partner venues across Europe. You can get fit outside, in a studio, from the comfort of your home with Live Classes, On-demand Classes or with new 1:1 Coaching. Whatever you’re looking for, we’ve got you covered – so sign up today and turn this season into the best one yet.