Despite what the 80-degree afternoons may tell you, it is Fall here in the Mid South. It won't be long before the temperatures become a lot cooler and the days even shorter. Just this morning during my walk, the street lights were still on and the air felt brisk.
It feels like it was just summer and before we know it we will be wearing winter coats again - which is why the sudden transition into fall and the cooler months can feel like a challenge. With that comes the onslaught of coughs and fevers, flu shots, and humidifiers. Our bodies often feel less than their best as they adapt to the winter weather.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. While you can’t completely avoid catching a cold or fighting fall allergies, you can give yourself and your immune system a helping hand. There is so much to do and see in our community this time of year, let's make sure we feel our healthiest to enjoy it.
So here are 5 tips to keep your body moving and feeling your best this fall:
1. Boost Your Immune System
You need to boost your immune system to help prevent those colds and sniffles that come home from school when the weather changes. Healthy habits such as washing hands frequently, drinking plenty of water, and getting extra fruits and vegetables in your diet will keep your family free from germs. Green tea and probiotics are both great immune boosters if you need some extra help.
2. Get Ready for the Time Change
Switching from light mornings where the sun naturally wakes you, to darker mornings that still feel like night, can be a struggle for many of us. By going to bed earlier, especially the week before the clocks change, we can make the transition much smoother. Put the phone away an hour before bedtime and relax with some warm decaf tea. . . . this will make throwing the covers off easier in the morning.
3. Buy In-Season Produce
An abundance of tasty fall vegetables makes it easy to reap the benefits of a plant-based diet. Come on - we all know we need to eat more veggies! Cabbage, carrots, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, pumpkin, kale, and squash are some of my favorites. Add them to the crockpot with broth for an easy stew, or toss them with some oil and roast with your choice of protein for a quick dinner.
4. Walk Outside
The moderate temperatures of autumn are welcome after a sweltering summer. Let's enjoy them before we need a hat and gloves. Who doesn't love the crisp air and crunchy leaves under their feet in fall? Get out during lunchtime for sunshine and Vitamin D to boost your mood (we often need this as the days grow shorter) and your concentration will be improved for the rest of your day.
5. Find Ways to be Active Indoors
A lot of us will just ‘hibernate’ as it starts to get colder. Especially for those who enjoy trail running or outdoor boot camp classes indoor exercise can seem boring. It's really easy to just stay home as it gets colder outside. But, no matter the season it's important to get in some daily movement to lower your stress, tone your muscles, keep your bones strong, and burn some calories. The best way to do this is to make plans ahead of time.
We all know it will be even harder to eat well, sleep well, and exercise as we approach the holiday season. So plan now to keep all those good habits you created during the warmer months to follow you into fall and winter.
You may be thinking . . ." easy for you to say go for a walk and keep active".
I know that if you have knee, hip, or back pain it may feel even worse as it gets colder making staying active more of a challenge. Are you worried to walk and keep active afraid your pain will get worse? If that sounds like you, here's a free guide you can download that gives you easy tips to ease joint pain. Click here to get your copy: