Tips For Staying Healthy This Fall
It’s that time of year again. The days are getting shorter, the colours are changing, and cooler weather is upon us. It's time to focus on your wellness!
With cold and flu season approaching and COVID-19 surrounding us, there is no better time to start focusing on your health.
Here are a few tips to help boost your immune system and keep you healthy this fall.
1. Sleep – getting a good night sleep is essential to help restore and rejuvenate both the mind and the body. Aim for a good 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Here are few things that you can try:
- Get into a good sleep routine; go to bed early and wake up early (ideally the same time each day). With the shorter days approaching, there will be more hours of dark and therefore more hours for sleep!
- Essential oils are great. Try a lavender pillow spray or diffuse some lavender oils in your bedroom. There are also some great oil blends that help promote sleep.
- Have a warm bath to help relax and calm your muscles.
- Deep breathing
- Try melatonin – a natural supplement
- Listen to a guided meditation app or white noise while you’re in bed ready to sleep.
- Shut down the screens, electronics and lights at least an hour before you go to bed. Try reading to tire your eyes and mind.
- Tea – drink a warm and relaxing tea before bed (lavender, chamomile, etc.)
- Busy mind? Write a to do list and keep a pad of paper and pen beside your bed.
2. Stress – reducing your stress will help promote a strong body and immune system and will also help reduce inflammation and imbalances within the body. It’s important to take care of yourself mentally, emotionally and physically. A few ways to manage stress:
- Exercise is a fantastic way to reduce your stress levels – when you exercise, your body releases endorphins, the brains “feel good” neurotransmitters. Get outdoors and enjoy some activity and fresh air!
- Meditation (guided meditation apps are good!)
- Deep breathing
- Get a massage
- Talk to friends and family
- Take a bath with essential oils and Epsom salts
- Take a nap
- Read a book
- Take time for yourself
- Don’t be afraid to take a day off if you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed out
3. Nutrition – eating a healthy and balanced diet each day is essential to keeping your body and mind strong. The cooler weather may call for warmer comfort foods; focus on finding some healthy recipes to keep you cozy and satisfied. A few tips:
- Focus on eating foods high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals – lots of green and colourful vegetables and fruits. Try to eat local and in season - the fresher the produce the higher the nutrient quality! Some in season foods for the fall include apples, squash, pumpkin, brussels sprouts, turnips and cranberries.
- Aim to eat 3 small balanced meals and 1-2 snacks a day (don’t skip meals)
- Be sure to get a good amount of protein, healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, nuts/seeds, salmon, etc.) and whole grains in your diet each day.
- Consume immune boosting foods like garlic and ginger, almonds, as well as foods rich in vitamin C (oranges, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, sweet potato, white potato, squash, spinach/leafy greens, tomato, bell peppers, kiwi, strawberries, papaya, etc.)
- Stay hydrated! Make sure you’re drinking lots of water throughout the day – take a bottle with you everywhere you go and keep track of your intake.
- Try to stay away from or limit sugars, caffeine, saturated and trans fats, alcohol, processed/refined foods – anything that may contribute to a weakened immune system and inflammation within the body.
There are lots of great recipes for a healthy homemade chicken soup when you’re feeling run down!
4. Natural Supplements – there are some vitamins, minerals and natural herbal remedies that can help promote a healthy immune system.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids (EPA/DHA) – this can be found in some foods but taking a supplement will ensure that you’re getting all the healthy fats that you need.
- Probiotics – also great for digestive health.
- Echinacea and oregano – if you feel a cold coming on, try an echinacea supplement or a few drops of oil of oregano.
- Vitamin D – we don’t get enough vitamin D from the sun in the cooler months and therefore it would be beneficial to take a supplement each day. Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium and promotes strong and healthy bones.
- Vitamin C - has both antioxidant and immune boosting properties.
- Zinc, Vitamin B 12 and E have also been shown to help boost the immune system
- Curcumin – powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties
- Garlic – you can include this in your meals or consume garlic capsules
5. Exercise – make a plan to get some activity in each day. Regular exercise can help boost your immune system and improve your overall health. If you know you have a long busy day, focus on getting a workout in first thing…that way you won’t bail when you’re tired later in the day. Get out for a walk or hike, hit the gym or join a class – every little bit counts!
6. Wash and sanitize your hands often, create a clean home and workspace, practice social distancing and wear your mask!
Take care of yourself and your loved ones this fall! Enjoy everything that the season has to offer – stay healthy and happy.
If you’re looking for the daily guidance, support and motivation along with the accountability and knowledge to help you reach your goals this fall, contact Steph, holistic nutritionist, to learn more about the online nutrition & lifestyle programs available.
Together we will get you looking and feeling your best!