Autumn has arrived! As the temperature becomes cooler and the days get shorter, making some changes in your lifestyle can prevent many diseases and help you healthy. Here are tips to boost mental and physical wellness in the fall:
- Eat healthy: Make sure you eat nutritious food. Include lots of seasonal fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet. Try plant based protein (such as black beans or soy) which is a good substitute for animal protein. It is recommended that you eat at least 3 cups of beans a week. Beans are rich in protein, iron, folic acid, fiber, and potassium. Including lima beans, green beans or any other variety of beans in your diet in the fall can help you stay fit and healthy.
Fall is the perfect time to try healthy soup recipes. Experiment with nutritional powerhouse spices like turmeric, Ceylon cinnamon and ginger. Cut back alcohol intake and limit sugary soft drinks as can lead to obesity and other health problems. Include seasonal items such as apples, Brussels sprouts, parsnips, pears, rutabaga, cauliflower, squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, turnips, pomegranates, dates, kiwi, grapefruit and tangerines in your diet.
- Stay active: Whatever the season, don’t ever skip your exercise routine. Even as the weather becomes cooler, avoid being lazy and exercise regularly. Physical activity can keep your heart and lungs in good condition, reduce the risk of many illnesses, and even ease pain. Exercise protects the bones by strengthening the surrounding muscles and improves balance, both of which reduce risk of falls. According to the CDC, the ideal amount of exercise for health is 5 hours per week of moderate activity, such as brisk walking, or 2.5 hours of vigorous movement, such as jogging, along with resistance training at least twice a week.
- Enjoy the great outdoors Spend time on outdoor activities – options include taking a nature walk, jogging, running, cycling, and swimming or in mind-body workouts such as yoga, Pilates or tai chi. Being outdoors provides a way to stay active, energizes you, and boosts vitamin D levels.
- Take a Vitamin D supplement: We get most of our Vitamin D from the sun. However, we tend to spend more time indoors in the colder season, and have less contact with the sun’s rays. If you find you are not getting outside much, talk to your doctor about taking a Vitamin D supplement.
- Keep your immunity up: When it’s cold, drinking enough water will help you stay hydrated and boost your immune system. Wash your hands often to avoid falling sick and spreading germs. To protect against flu, get your flu shot each year in the fall.
- Get enough sleep: Get at least 7 to 8 hours of solid sleep. Lack of sleep can affect the immune system and increase the risk of illnesses and falls.
- Moisturize: Colder temperatures can make your skin dry. So use a good moisturizer. Also don’t forget to wear sunscreen and take other protective steps when you are outdoors.
- Don’t miss your regular health check up: Check your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. Knowing your numbers will help you understand your risk for many serious medical conditions and take early action.
- Dress in layers: We have to be well-prepared for a weather change, especially if it’s colder climates. Wear layers and protect your body from the dropping temperature. Make sure you have gloves, a scarf, ear muffs, a winter coat, warm socks, and boots.
Autumn and winter are considered nature’s way of telling us to slow down. So take time out for yourself, relax, and practice self-care.