As summer draws to a close, it's time to look forward to the transition into fall. Crisp days, leaves changing color, pumpkin patches, and hot apple cider makes for the perfect fall day. The change of seasons is also the ideal time to take seasonal precautions for your health. With a little planning, it's easy to make fall a healthy and happy season!
Get Your Flu Shot
The most recent flu season put most of us on notice about the importance of getting a flu shot. In fact, during the 2017-2018 flu season upwards of 4,000 Americans were dying each week from the flu. The flu can be tricky because new strains can emerge and other serious illnesses like pneumonia are linked to the flu. Vulnerable populations like children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems are more susceptible to the flu. Because new strains of the flu develop, doctors must keep developing vaccines to address them. It's important that you get your flu shot annually for protection against the latest strain. The flu season typically ranges from October to May with a peak from December to February. Flu shots take two weeks to start working, so schedule your flu shot for September.
Keep It Moving
Fall's temperate climate makes it the perfect time for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and walking. However, on average people become more sedentary during the fall and winter. It's easy to pack on extra pounds or loss your fitness momentum as the days get shorter and the temperatures get increasingly cooler. Make a plan for staying active to ward off these unwanted side effects of the season change. Joining a gym or fitness program can add the extra boost you need to stay on track. Use the buddy system for extra accountability, and write your fall and winter fitness goals down. People that write down their goals are much more likely to achieve them. Last, but not least, remember to celebrate your victories and milestones!
Nourish with Nature
Summer's bounty puts healthy food within easy reach, but fall provides its own offerings of healthy options. Fruits and vegetables like apples, pears, sweet potatoes, squash, and pumpkins are there for the taking and packed full of nutrients. With fall right around the corner, start researching healthy recipes that incorporate fall's favorite ingredients. Fall lends itself to soups, stews, and carbohydrate laden meals that might not be best for the waistline. With a little research, it's easy to find healthy substitutes that boost your nutrition and taste great.
Healthy Home, Healthy Life
We're all familiar with the term "spring cleaning," but the change of seasons is the perfect time to purge and prepare your home. Recent studies show that a cluttered space can cause anxiety and decrease motivation. The beginning of fall is the perfect time to purge summer clothing, shoes, and supplies that you no longer need or want. While you're at it, take a look through your medicine cabinet and get rid of any medications or products that are out of date.
Since you'll be spending more time indoors, make sure your home is fall and winter-ready too. Cleaning your fireplace and chimney, changing air filters, and checking your windows for drafts or cracks are good places to start. You'll not only save money on your energy bill, but these measures can also protect you against allergens and irritants that could make you sick. As an extra safety precaution, make sure your emergency supplies are well stocked as a safeguard against unpredictable winter weather. Make sure your safety kit includes at least a three day supply of water and non-perishable food, first aid supplies, flashlights and batteries, a hand-crank radio, charged battery packs for your cell phone, and basic tools.
Now is the perfect time to prepare for the fall. By taking a few safeguards and planning for the upcoming season, you can stay on track with your health and enjoy all the season has to offer.