Stay Healthy this Fall with these 15 Tips and Strategies

There\’s no doubt that autumn is a wonderful time of year. The leaves are changing color, the air is getting cooler, and pumpkin spice lattes are back on the menu! But autumn can also be a challenging time for our health. The change in season can disrupt our routines and make us more susceptible to colds and flu.

That\’s why it\’s important to take some extra steps to stay healthy this autumn.

  1. Vitamin D supplements. How much vitamin D should you take in the fall?

Some authorities recommend from 200 IU per day to 2,000 IU per day. In the United States, the Institutes of Medicine recommends 600 to 800 IU per day for adults. At the same time, the Endocrine Society states that optimal vitamin D status may require 1500 to 2,000 IU per day. With that being said, you just need to pick up some vitamin D and start taking it or see your doctor, who can test you and prescribe a bigger dose if needed.

  1. Take some time to yourself. Taking time to yourself and taking care of your own needs is not selfish. I’ve made a list of some fall or autumn self-care ideas:
  • Read this related Blog Post Tips to Feel Good All Day.
  • Visit a pumpkin patch
  • Go apple picking
  • Take a hayride
  • Enjoy the fall foliage (maybe while taking a walk?)
  • Watch a football game
  • Binge-watch your favorite scary (or not-so-scary) Halloween movies.
  • Decorate for fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Dia de Los Muertos
  • Host a chili cookoff
  • Go to an Octoberfest event.
  1. Get your flu shot and yearly check-up. This should be self-explanatory! No one likes the sniffling, aching, sneezing, and coughing getting in the way of life. Yuck!
  2. Boost your immune system. This is a must for just about any season. Here are 5 ways to help improve your immune system:
  • Choose your foods wisely. You’ve probably heard the saying: “You are what you eat.” And though hyperbole, it does ring somewhat true. What you put into your body greatly impacts your immune system. 
  • Exercise regularly. Just a 30-minute walk a day will work wonders for your immune system.
  • Reduce stress. We all experience it. Find an activity to unwind and release your stress. You could try meditation, yoga, or a hobby. Reducing stress can lower blood pressure and anxiety levels.
  • Sleep well. Getting six to seven hours of sleep each night encourages your body to regenerate and refresh after a long day. 
  • Wash your hands. Good hygiene and washing your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds is such an easy and effective way to protect yourself from germs. Your skin is the body’s largest organ and is a common entryway for foreign invaders like viruses. 

Stay vigilant when washing your hands! Whether you sing “Happy Birthday” or recite the alphabet to time out your handwashing, doing so will boost your immune system

  1. Get ready for daylight savings time. Ready or not, it\’s here! Studies indicate that depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts seem to rise around time change. Although Daylight Saving Time doesn\’t cause mental health problems, it can worsen them. As we get less sunlight, our serotonin and melatonin levels drop, which can lead to feelings of apathy and depression. So go to bed earlier when you can. Your body and mind will thank you.
  2. Make plans for the cold months. If you don’t make any plans during the colder months then chances are you will not go out and do things. In winter, if we\’re not busy we tend to hibernate and avoid the cold.
  3. Moisturize your skin. The colder and sometimes breezy fall season sucks the moisture straight from your skin so get yourself some lotion and start hydrating your skin. Don’t forget you should still be wearing sunscreen. The U.V. rays are always present, even when it\’s cold.
  4. Buy in-season food. Apples, bananas, bell peppers, beets, broccoli, cabbage, eggplant, kale, pumpkin, broths, roasted squash, roots, and sauteed dark leafy greens are all great choices.
  5. Stay active! Ideas to help you stay active this fall:
  • Raking leaves. If you have a lot of trees in your yard, turn what might seem like a big chore into family fun time.
  • Visit a corn maze
  • Visit a haunted house
  • Take walks and bike rides
  • Pumpkin and apple picking
  • Fall 5K races
  • Hiking in fall
  • Football season
  • Get active during TV time
  1. Wear layers and protect your body from the dropping temperatures fall can bring. Make sure you have gloves, a scarf, ear muffs, a winter coat, warm socks, and snow boots!
  2. Do some “spring cleaning” in the fall. Clean out your closet, organize that back/spare room, and rid yourself of things that you do not need.
  3. Prepare your home for possible extreme weather conditions. Do you have:
  • Flashlight
  • Batteries
  • Shovel/snowblower
  • Is your heat working well?
  • Extra blankets
  • First aid
  • Emergency food and ways to cook during emergencies
  1. Get some books to read and shows to watch. Who doesn’t want to sit by the fire on chilly winter nights and read a good book or binge-watch some Netflix?
  2. Keep a schedule. The cold months can seem to drag on and push us into isolation. Stay on track by scheduling time in your day to do things you like to do.
  3. Be kind to yourself. The holidays can cause us to gain weight. The shorter days can cause low mood, and the flu season can cause sickness. Listen to what your body has to say and give it what it needs. Don’t beat yourself up! Try reframing negative thoughts into positive ones. Try reading 10 ways to promote a healthy mindset

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