Do you feel that autumn chill in the air?
What’s the key to staying healthier this fall?
For many of us, the change in season is marked by tucking away those summer clothes into the backs of our closets until next year. However, don’t tuck away those running shoes, bicycles, and healthy eating habits with your swimming suits. You can maintain your workout and healthy eating regime well into fall.
Our mental and emotional wellbeing can be known to impact our overall health and our ability to fight off colds and flu. You should try and stay socially active, as research states that those with larger social networks tend to have more antibodies than those with smaller networks. Express your feelings as they arise, rather than keeping your thoughts bottled up. Use stress management strategies to respond positively to the ups and downs of life. Set goals, stay challenged, and have something to look forward to every day.
By eating well, keeping active, and paying attention to your emotional wellbeing, you’ll be more likely to stay healthy and happy throughout fall and here are 3 easy tips to help you with that:
Make Time for Exercise
One of the biggest misguided notions we make is that we’re far too busy come September to remain active. Now that might be going to the gym after work or going for a run in the morning, but the kids and their back-to-school needs can really put a damper on free time for working parents. Suddenly that free hour or two you had all summer long is taken up by picking the kids up from school or driving them to soccer practice. Regardless, your health is worth shifting your schedule, whether it’s leaving a bit early from work to hit the gym or arranging a soccer car-pool with another parent a few times a week so you can free up time for that run. Colder weather doesn’t mean you should abandon your workout schedule. Research shows moderate levels of regular exercise can be beneficial for the immune system. Brisk walking twice a week can help you cut back on sick days, but aerobic exercise at least five times a week for more than 20 minutes each time is recommended.
2.Focus your meals around fresh, local produce for an immune-boosting diet and stay hydrated.
I know we tend to crave comfort foods when the cold weather sets in, but that doesn’t mean those healthy eating habits should be abandoned in place of high calorie, fatty meals. To avoid piling on hibernation weight, focus your meals on fresh local produce; for us in Vancouver that means... squash, beets, apples, pumpkin, Brussels sprouts, and kale to ensure you’re getting some essential vitamins and nutrients in those crock pot meals.
A well-balanced, with lots of fruit and veg, high fiber diet will strengthen your immune system. High-fibre diets rich in fruits and veggies have been linked to stronger immune outcomes.
We're lucky enough to have produce from further afield too, so why not Incorporate some vitamin C with common favourites like lemons, kiwi fruit in some Homemade juices and smoothies. This is also a great way to get more fruit and veg' into your diet if you find it hard to get your recommended daily intake. Zinc can boost the immune system, so think oysters, crab, beef, turkey, and beans. Mushrooms are another immune-boosting food to eat more of.
Staying hydrated is vital and proven to be very beneficial for overall health. By drinking the right amount of water (2L on non-training days and up to 3L on training days), you support nutrient dispersion and toxin elimination. Try carrying a reusable water bottle with you and fill up with filtered water when needed.
3. Get enough sleep!
Sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on your immune system, mood, mental and physical performance and overal health. If you find it hard to get to sleep, follow a bedtime routine allowing you to wind down and relax. Listen to some relaxing music, take a warm bath, and avoid screen time later in the evening. Get to bed at the same time every night to encourage a regular sleep routine.