Seasonal Diet Tips

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10 Fall Health Tips to Maintain Wellness

When it comes to the fall season, the only fright should be ghosts and goblins on Halloween, not the scare of good health. So treat (and not trick) yourself with these fall health tips!

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Whether picking apples or carving jack o' lanterns, fall brings many fun activities. But to enjoy all the fall in its fullest, you want to be feeling your best!

So when those leaves start to turn and light start to fall, ensure health using these tips.

10 Fall Health Tips

From protecting from flu season to minimizing isolation, stay healthy in the fall using these tips!

1. Protect from Colds and the Flu Season

Common colds and the influenza virus often approach each fall and winter and places the risk of serious illness. Fortunately, there are ways to protect from such risks.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests the best way to protect yourself and loved ones from the flu is by getting the flu shot. While it is encouraged to get the flu vaccine by the end of October, it is not too late to get vaccinated. In fact, most of the flu activity peaks between December and February, and may even last as late as May.

It is likewise imperative to take the flu virus seriously, as it increases the risks of serious complications, hospitalization, and death even among those considered to be healthy. If contracted with the flu or other contagious illness, be sure to:

• Avoid close contact with others.

• Stay at home.

• Cover the mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing.

• Wash hands regularly.

• Not touch the eyes, nose, and mouth to help stop the spread of germs.

2. Schedule Annual Check-Ups

One of the most valuable fall health tips, and during any season, is keeping in the know of health. Scheduling annual check-ups with a doctor helps ensure health conditions are identified and treated early.

Screenings and tests may include blood pressure readings and skin checks after the sunny summer season. Consult about other shots, too, beyond the flu vaccination.

Schedule appointments with other health care providers as well. For instance, visit a dentist for oral hygiene and optometrist for eye care.

3. Practice Food Safety

Holiday celebrations feature an abundance of food and drinks presented on tables, which may open the invitation to some pesky and unwanted guests.

To minimize the risk of bacterial contamination and foodborne illnesses, practice food safety basics. Some helpful procedures include:

• Keeping hands and surfaces clean.

• Separating and avoiding cross-contamination.

• Chilling foods promptly and heating thoroughly.

• Cooking meat to a proper internal temperature.

4. Wear Appropriate Clothing

Changing seasons causes changes in the weather. This often leads to a change in the wardrobe as well.

To keep warm during the fall weather, dress appropriately in long sleeves, sweaters, jackets, gloves, sock caps, boots, and other pieces of clothing you may need. Keep additional layers in your car or travel bag as a precautionary measure, too.

5. Prepare for and Cope With Daylight Savings Time

During the fall season, clocks namely "fall back" an hour to gain an extra 60 minutes during the day. The light will be prominent earlier in the morning while darkness will appear starting in the afternoon and evening hours.

Prepare for daylight savings time by adjusting clocks the day before. Also cope with daylight savings by:

• Starting the day early.

• Limiting caffeine intake.

• Enhancing indoor light.

• Exercising.

• Shortening or preventing naps.

• Avoiding late-night meals.

6. Moisturize the Skin

If you do not apply a moisturizer already, you might want to consider giving it a try this fall season. Their use can counterbalance the consequences of the dry air, protecting the integrity of the skin and improving tone and texture.

According to WebMD, moisturizing product guidelines consider oily, acne-prone, dry, itchy, and other types of skin. Sun protection, including an SPF of no less than 30, and antioxidant ingredients can also be helpful.

Also avoid products with coloring, perfumes, and too many acids. Limit the use of steroid creams and ointments, too, unless professionally instructed otherwise.

7. Keep Physically Active

Do not allow the upcoming chilly days to confine you to the couch. Keeping active can lead to many health benefits during the fall season, including a boosted mood and immune system. It can also lower the risk of the anticipated holiday weight gain.

Staying active also goes beyond structured workouts at the gym. Ensure regular physical activity during the fall by:

• Bundling up and taking the dog on a walk.

• Taking a nature hike.

• Registering for a turkey trot or other festive race.

• Raking the fall leaves.

• Going on a bike ride.

8. Make Plans With Others

Although you can hermit inside with a good book or television series, also make plans and break away from isolation. Doing so can elevate your mood and energy levels over the fall and winter seasons.

Need some fall inspiration? Here are some fun fall ideas to do with others:

• Visit a coffee shop for a pumpkin spice latte

• Pick pumpkins then carve jack o' lanterns

• Pick apples then bake an apple pie

• Go to a football game or other sporting event

• Check out fall festivals in your local area

• Take a ghost tour or visit a haunted house around Halloween

• Watch scary movies while sipping on hot apple cider

• Host a Thanksgiving potluck

9. Consider Taking Vitamin D

Vitamin D is important for bone health, but it also helps boost mood and the immune system. Adequate vitamin D can likewise protect from depression and the flu.

Since vitamin D comes from the shining sun, a deficiency is at risk if spending more time inside. And not to mention, the often limited sun during the shorter days.

To ensure sufficient availability of the vitamin, increase vitamin D food sources and consider taking a vitamin D supplement. Before taking any sort of supplement, though, check with your doctor first. They can guide you to a quality product and recommend a proper dose.

10. Stay Prepared at Home

Along with keeping your body prepared for the cool season, do not forget to keep equipped on the home front. Questions to ask regarding home safety and readiness include:

• "Do I have a shovel ready if needed?"

• "Do my flashlights and portable radio have batteries?"

• "Is my furnace heating okay?"

• "Do I have a fire extinguisher? Is it working properly?"

Written By Sarah Asay, RDN. Published on October 07, 2013. Updated on October 29, 2019.

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