Fall has officially arrived.
So has the start of cold and flu season, along with the temptation to stay inside and eat comfort food.
It’s the perfect season to get lazy, really.
But don’t give up on your health just yet. Keeping up your exercise routine, eating healthy, and resting enough can keep your health on track this fall season. It also will sustain your immune system if you continue your healthy habits through the end of the year.
Ready to finish the last days of the year strong?
Here are 17 fall wellness tips to keep you feeling your best!
Fall Health Tips to Start Using ASAP
- Do 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. 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’s important for your immune system to be in tip-top shape. Eating healthy foods with vitamin C (like limes, oranges, and clementines) are key to fighting off infections. Garlic, ginger, spinach, and almonds are also big winners when it comes to boosting your health and immunity.
- Dine with your family — Fall is a perfect time to slow down. It’s also a great 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 your flu shot — Want to know how to stay healthy during flu season? Get the once-a-year flu vaccine. The vaccine can reduce flu illnesses, missed work, and doctor’s office visits. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting the vaccine before October’s end.
- Munch on in-season foods — This time of year beautiful vegetables and fruits make their appearance in grocery stores across the nation. Some of the 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 circadian rhythm. 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.
- Drink up your H2O — As it gets colder, your body can lose as much fluid as it might in hot climates due to the high rates of energy used in colder climates. Thanks to heavier clothing, you’ll sweat more. 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’ll probably have to give up your outdoor runs soon. Make it less of a shock 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.
- 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’s important to either take a supplement or eat a varied diet in order 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.
- Soak in an Epsom bath — When it gets cold outside, there’s nothing more relaxing than ending your day with a hot bath. Add in Epsom salts — which contain sulfate and magnesium — that can help with the removal of toxins. Magnesium is also known to ease arthritis pain that can flare up in cold weather. Consider making it your evening routine to take a soak.
- Minimize your sugar intake — It’s easy to raid your kids’ Halloween bag for your favorite treat. Before you know it, it’s only the first week of November and half the bag is already gone thanks to you sneaking a treat every night. Eliminate the temptation and skip the Halloween candy discount aisle, too. Want it out of your house? You can also donate candy to the troops!
- 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 cold and flu season, you’ll definitely want to make sure you’re sanitizing these areas weekly, if not daily.
- Keep hand sanitizer nearby — The very best way to avoid the spread of germs is to scrub your hands with warm soapy water. But if you can’t do that, hand sanitizer is the second best option. Just make sure it contains alcohol as those formulas are 60–95% more effective at killing germs than non-alcohol sanitizers.
- Get in on the pumpkin trend — This favorite fall centerpiece is packed full of nutrients and minerals. It’s one of the best sources for beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the body. Avoid canned pumpkin, which is often full of sugar and syrups and instead reach for the real deal.
- Schedule your annual check-up — Now is the time to set-up your annual physical you’ve been putting off all year. Get bloodwork and all the accompanying tests done in this calendar year to maximize your healthcare benefit.
- Watch those tailgate party calories — Four quarters is a long time to be in front of the t.v. while indulging in high-calorie foods. If you do it for every college and pro game, that’s a whole lot of extra calories and pounds over one football season. Enjoy, but modify your own game plan. Drink a light beer, fill up on veggies, and consider healthy alternatives to normal game day fare.
- Enjoy the cooler weather outdoors — Now that the cooler weather is here, there’s no better time to enjoy the outdoors. Take in the beauty of the changing leaves, the crisp air, and the sounds of nature. In fact, a walk in nature can boost your mood and creativity while also relaxing you.
Start Using These Fall Health Tips Today
Fall is the perfect season to slow down and take a look at your health and wellness. These tips are aimed at helping you have a healthier fall overall. Best of all, the above health tips can be easily implemented into your life starting today!
Change can be hard, so try incorporating one tip a week. Ask a colleague to join you in checking off each of these tips as you try them. Or, consider making it a mini fall challenge for the whole office.
And with so many fun activities to do in the fall — apple picking, corn mazes, fall festivals — you’ll want to stay as healthy as possible to enjoy it all!
Have a happy and healthy fall!
Want to keep your office active well into the fall season? Try our 6 Easy Fitness and Wellness Challenges for Any Workplace and learn how to set up a challenge from start to finish!