By Gina Greco, Senior Brand Marketing Specialist, SEMCA
Fall is the perfect season to slow down and take a look at your health and wellness. And with so many fun activities to do in the fall — apple picking, corn mazes, fall festivals — you will want to stay as healthy as possible to enjoy it all!
However, Fall also brings the start of cold and flu season, along with the temptation to stay inside and eat comfort foods. But don’t give up on your health just yet. Keeping up your exercise routine, eating mindfully, and resting enough can keep your health on track this fall season. It also will boost your immune system if you continue your mindful habits through the end of the year.
Are you ready to finish the last days of the year strong? Here are 12 fall wellness tips to keep you feeling your best!
Make Smart Swaps on Comfort Foods
There’s nothing like a savory, rich soup on a crisp fall day. Instead of making a calorie-rich clam chowder with cream, consider opting for a veggie soup filled with fiber-rich vegetables like spinach and cauliflower. Love sweet potatoes? Slather it with coconut oil and cinnamon instead of butter.
Consume Immunity-Boosting Foods
As the weather gets colder and flu season starts, it is important for your immune system to be in tip-top shape. Eating mindfully foods with vitamin C (like limes, oranges, and clementines) is key to fighting off infections. Garlic, ginger, spinach, and almonds are also big winners when it comes to boosting your health and immunity. Sorry, but a sugary Pumpkin Spice Latte did not make the list!
Dine-In with Your Family
Fall is a perfect time to regroup as a family and reconnect over dinner. Families who dine together tend to eat more nutritious meals. It also strengthens family relationships and can even help fast eaters slow down and appreciate food more.
Get a Flu Shot
Want to know how to stay healthier during flu season? Get the once-a-year flu vaccine! The vaccine can reduce flu illnesses, missed work, and doctor’s office visits. The CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every season with rare exceptions.
Schedule Your Annual Check-Up
And where is a great place to get you flu shot? During your annual physical, of course! If you have not scheduled your annual physical yet, now is the time. Get bloodwork and all the accompanying tests done in this calendar year to stay on top of your health!
Snack on Seasonal Foods
This time of year, beautiful vegetables and fruits make their appearance in grocery stores. Some nutrient-dense options to consider adding to your plate: Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, crab apples, cranberries, and turnips. Get adventurous and try a new produce item!
Rise and Shine at the Same Time
As the sun goes down earlier, it can throw off your natural energy and sleep cycles. Try to maintain a sleep schedule of at least seven hours and keep your normal bedtime and waking hours the same as the rest of the year. Remember: the end of Daylight Savings is right around the corner!
Drink More Water
As it gets colder, your body can quickly lose fluid due to the high energy rates used in colder climates. And thanks to heavier clothing, you may sweat more. Our health insurance partner Cigna recommends an average of 6-8 cups of water daily. An appropriate water intake will also keep your skin supple, which can be a problem as the weather gets drier. Keep your water intake high as fall fades into winter, too.
Switch up Your Fitness Routines
If you live in colder climates, you may have to give up your outdoor runs soon. Keep your heart rates up by taking some of your routines indoors and slowly incorporating indoor gym sessions. Try a new class like kickboxing or salsa to get your cardio fix. If gyms have not reopened in your area or the gym isn’t for you, check out the attached “Stay Fit While Staying Home” Wellness Wednesday edition from July.
Get Enough Vitamin D
This essential vitamin helps the body absorb calcium. When fall arrives, daylight — one source of vitamin D — is less available. That’s why it is important to either take a supplement or eat a varied diet to maintain appropriate vitamin D levels through fall and winter. Cod liver oil, salmon, tuna, and milk are a few ways to get your vitamin D.
Sterilize Your Most Touched Items
Your cell phone, keyboard, remote, and tablet are all germ habitats. It’s good to make it a habit to sanitize these areas with Clorox wipes. Throughout the cold and flu season, you will definitely want to make sure you are sanitizing these areas regularly.
Be Kind to Yourself
The holidays can cause weight gain, the shorter days can cause low mood, and the flu season can cause sickness. Listen to your body and give it what it needs, and don’t beat yourself up! Try reframing negative thoughts into positive ones. Incorporating changes to your daily routines can be hard, so try incorporating one tip a week. Ask a colleague to join you in checking off each of these tips as they become your new mindful habits!