Medically Reviewed By Elizabeth A. Swick, MS, RDN
Make Autumn Your Fittest Season
For every color of fall, there’s a reason to get out, get moving and get healthy.
Orange is for…
Beta carotene—the orange-yellow antioxidant behind the cornucopia of bright fruits and veggies we look forward to every year. Think pumpkin, butternut squash, sweet potato, cranberries and apple peels (so don’t peel your apples!)
Your body converts beta carotene into vitamin A, an essential nutrient that supports vision, a healthy immune system and younger-looking skin. As a powerful antioxidant, it fights unstable free radicals that seek to destroy healthy cells.
So load up on your favorites while you’ve got them. Another way to up your beta carotene intake with black elderberries. They’re loaded with active carotenoids and other potent antioxidants that combat free radicals and are good for immunity.
Red is for…
A red-hot metabolism—your body’s heat-generating furnace. Thermogenesis is your body’s metabolic process of generating heat for warmth and converting food into energy. And fall’s cool, brisk weather offers perfect conditions for burning more calories with outdoor activity.
Whether your activity of choice is picking apples or hiking trails—both of which let you take in fall’s beautiful foliage—lower temperatures and humidity energize your body, helping you go further, longer.
Just don’t forget to boost your protein intake to support lean muscle mass and healthy BMI. Add flavorless protein powder to a smoothie, yogurt or oatmeal for the extra kick you need.
Brown is for…
Brown adipose fat—the good kind of body fat that actually helps your metabolism stay active. Incredible research reveals that brown adipose fat actually uses the bad kind, called white adipose fat, as fuel to create heat and energy. You know this type of unhealthy fat as the kind that loves to stick to hips, belly and thighs.
Thermogenesis, which you learned about earlier, takes place in brown adipose tissue and skeletal muscle. So the more good fat you have, the more heat and energy you create.
Need a fat-burning boost fast? Try the metabolism-boosting West African fruit shown to enhance metabolism and support weight loss.
Yellow is for…
Transitions—As leaves start to yellow and show their first signs, it’s a reminder to let go of the past and open your heart and mind to what’s ahead. Make the most of everything this time of transition brings.
Explore new recipes that incorporate seasonal foods. Try a new outdoor activity that you wouldn’t enjoy during warm weather. Put down your phone earlier at night and let your circadian rhythm go with the flow of shorter days and longer nights.
With all that autumn has to offer, it’s easy to see why it’s the best season for getting fit and healthy!