The Benefits of a Transitional Season
Transitional seasons are often viewed as placeholders—bridges between the fun events and activities brought by more extreme weather. But fall and spring offer their own charms and benefits. This autumn, instead of mourning hot temps or dreaming of hot cocoa, finds ways to embrace the beauty of the in-between. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Fall foliage is one of Earth’s greatest masterpieces. As the leaves begin to change color, make time to enjoy the natural artwork. Switch up your morning commute to include a leaf-laden street or stroll through a park on your lunch break. The visual contrast can be beneficial for our brains and even boost our mood. Embrace the seasonal palette further and fill your autumn wardrobe with shades like burnished orange, hunter green, and burgundy.
With moderate temperatures come more opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Take a break from the treadmill and find a scenic running path or dust off your bike and pedal through town. Exercising outdoors is not only enjoyable—it offers additional health benefits, too. A 2010 study published in Environmental Science & Technology suggested that “green exercise,” or exercising in the fresh air, can boost both your mood and self-esteem. The changing terrain also challenges your body, creating a harder workout and ultimately burning more calories. Another benefit to exercising outside? It’s usually free.
Mix Up the Menu.
A new season means a host of fresh flavors at your local grocer or farmers market. Eating seasonal fruits and vegetables is a sustainable and healthy way to structure your diet. Fall favorites like apples, sweet potatoes, and squashes are filled with fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants. In-season, locally grown produce retains nutrients at a much higher level than fruits and veggies traveling a long distance to your table.
Autumn often ushers in a sense of nostalgia. Life seems to slow a little as the leaves begin to fall, and the colors and cooling temperatures encourage more leisurely travel. But it’s more than just changing weather at work—it’s your sense of smell. Scents and memories are closely linked in the brain; it’s why random whiffs can carry you back to childhood and the reason hotels and businesses use signature scents in their lobbies and stores. And the colder air of fall helps our noses capitalize on those emotional connections. Cold air means less space for odor molecules to travel, making scents stand out more in the fall and cause stronger emotional reactions. Happy memories this time of year can be extra potent!
Change can be difficult, but there’s no better time to kickstart transformation than during a transitional season. Whether it’s as simple as switching up your office configuration to boost creativity or as detailed as modifying your lifestyle, taking a hint from Mother Earth can be helpful.
Door County, Wisconsin.
Looking for a spectacular spot to catch autumn colors? Try Door County, Wisconsin—surrounded by Lake Michigan and Green Bay, the region is a canvas of color from late September to mid-October and offers more than 300 miles of coastline to explore.
Where to Stay. From campgrounds to cozy B&Bs, there’s a spot for every adventurer. Stay in Fish Creek or Sister Bay for ample fall foliage.
What to Eat. A trip to Door County is incomplete without enjoying a traditional, open-fire fish boil or slice of local cherry pie. For one-of-a-kind dining, hoof it to Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant & Butik in Sister Bay. Goats graze on the building’s sod roof during the day!
What to Do. Visit one of the many fall festivals or rent a car, motorcycle, or bike to cruise down the region’s tree-lined roads. Highway 42 and Jens Jensen Road are rightfully popular, but don’t be afraid to venture into quieter communities. Try County Roads Q or E for scenic routes, lighthouse tours, and local gems.
/ Written by Victoria Hittner. Photography by AleksandarNakic/E+/Getty Images, StevenGaertner/iStock/Getty Images Plus, JamesBrey/iStock/Getty Images Plus, ImagesbyK/iStock/Getty Images Plus.