There are times of the year when it seems natural to change things up. Seasonal weather changes often mean pulling out something different from the wardrobe, or a switch from indoor to outdoor activities. But there are deeper reasons why we should be thinking about shaking up our routines: sometimes repeating the same actions day after day can result in fewer and poorer results. We’ve asked four local experts to share their tips and tricks for switching up the routine as we move into a new season.
The benefits of changing up your hair routine shouldn’t be overlooked! Sometimes our hair has absorbed all of the benefits to our current products and appears be “bored.” Hair has memory!
Just as we change our styles with the season, we should focus on how the environment can impact our hair. As it gets cooler outside, our hair may get drier. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “with all our rain, how is this possible?” Yes, our environment is damp, but our hair isn’t absorbing the outside moisture as conditioner. In fact, the cooler air actually takes that away from our hair – which is why you may see static, or extra flyaways.
Switching from summer products to fall products will help, depending on your hair type. You may perceive that you need a smoothing product when in reality, your strands may just be dry and need a great conditioning treatment.
Sometimes there is a need to reassess our hair needs based on lifestyle, or circumstances beyond our control. Things may change as we age, lose or gain weight, stress or even take medication. Moving to a different climate sends our tresses into a different state as well – moving from the prairies to the coast will send your hair for a loop.
Talk to your beauty professional about your specific needs. There is never too much information; it only helps us determine a path with you. Some changes are simple, while others are a process and take time to adjust to.
When I was studying to be an esthetician (23 years ago!) we were taught that facials should be done regularly, approximately every four to six weeks. While that still works for many, not everyone will want, or be able to have, a facial treatment that often. For me, the key times to focus on your skin are when the seasons change. This is especially true in the fall after summer.
Just as the temperature and humidity changes each season, so does our skin and our skincare needs. The weather isn’t the same 365 days a year; nor should our skincare routine be. My clients know that I’m fanatical about sunscreen and protecting the skin from sun damage. My hope is that the end of the summer isn’t the time to assess damages, but I’m also realistic. Summer heat contributes to an increase in oil production, sweat and heavier applications of sunscreen. This means our skin can be oilier than usual, there can be breakout and texture issues, and of course, sun exposure can lead to colour issues.
In fall I like to recommend a focus on exfoliation. This can be gentle, or a bit more aggressive, depending on what your skin care needs, concerns and conditions are. There’s also cooler weather, wind and a drop in humidity, which can mean dry air and even drier skin. Mix this with indoor dry heat and it can be a trigger for skin issues like eczema and itchy skin. I might start layering a serum with a moisturizer in preparation for colder temperatures and drier skin.
In the same way you trade in your summer flip flops for boots in the fall – and find you crave less salads and more soups and stews – so too do you need to modify your skincare routine and products, to fit the conditions.
Changing up your exercise program:
Injuries happen in fitness, and the more active you are the greater the risk. To prevent injuries and get the results you desire, it’s important to not overdo any one type of exercise, ie: running. Having a routine that includes a variety of training sessions is critical – twice a week for strength, stretching and cardio. Regardless of your favourite training program, it’s helpful to make changes to intensity, format, frequency and duration.
If you train the exact same way over and over again the most likely consequence will be mental stagnation, over training and injury. For example, if you are a runner, train at a different distance and pace in each of your runs such as a light, medium, and hard format in any given week. If you’re doing resistance training, follow a routine for six to 12 weeks then take a week off to get a great rest. Follow this by changing your routine; for example, switching from a heavy workout doing three sets of four to eight repetitions to an endurance workout doing 15 to 20 repetitions with a lighter weight.
The percentage of people that actually stick to an exercise schedule and do not drop out after a few months is not very high. You can maximize your chances for success by keeping a consistent schedule and enjoying different types of exercise to challenge your mind and body. Don’t be afraid to try a new activity; it challenges your brain and maintains your motivation. Exercise adds years to your life and life to your years!
The foundation of good nutrition is to form simple, sustainable, healthy habits. These habits include eating slowly and mindfully when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re not hungry (notice, I didn’t say stop when you’re full?).
Good habits emphasize whole and minimize processed foods while prioritizing nutrient density by getting enough quality protein and lots of veggies in at every meal. These fundamental habits should be consistent, and need not ever change. However, shaking things up sometimes can add flavour and variety to your diet. Changing what we eat from season to season, based on what grows locally, can be beneficial to our wallets, our bodies and our environment.
Now is a great time to freeze some of our locally grown fruits, veggies and berries. We can sprinkle them into winter! We can find ways to incorporate more dense winter vegetables like cabbage or squash, and root vegetables like parsnips, potatoes and yams into our diets. We can prepare them in advance and freeze them for easy slow cooker or freezer-to-oven type meals – great for lazy winter evenings! And as the days grow shorter and darker, we can eat as many foods rich in Vitamin D as possible to help fend off any winter blues. Foods that are rich in Vitamin D include salmon, sardines, swordfish or tuna fish, beef liver and egg yolk. Cereals, dairy milk and various plant milks are fortified with Vitamin D, too.
Change can be simple, sustainable and healthy while tasting amazing!