Fall Wellness Tips to Keep You Healthy and Happy

Fall Wellness Tips to Keep You Healthy and Happy

The fall season offers so much! The weather is mild and lovely, the fun of school and fall sports returns for many families, and the entire world seems to slow down to enjoy the feeling. For all the beauty that autumn brings, there are a few seasonal changes that rattle our health! It’s best to enjoy fall with a healthy foundation to support you. Here are some of our favorite fall wellness tips that will keep you healthy and happy this year!

Protect yourself from COVID-19.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 is surging again due to low vaccination rates and the resulting strain on healthcare workers and resources. Therefore, protection against COVID-19 is once again an important part of overall autumn health. One thing you can do to stay healthy is get the COVID-19 vaccine, as vaccinated persons are 88 percent to 96 percent less likely to be hospitalized. Masks, hand-washing, and practicing social distancing are also effective measures in protecting yourself and your community.

The secret ingredient to fall wellness: pumpkin!

Pumpkins are so much more than pies and pumpkin spice lattes! The fall favorite is a superfood packed with nutrients! Pumpkins are very high in vitamins A, C, and E, as well as potassium and fiber. Eating in-season vegetables has been touted as a solution for naturally boosting our immunity and improving physical health all around. This fall add pumpkin to your shopping list and get to cooking something cozy and nutritious!

Enjoy the outdoors!

Nothing beats a crisp walk in the autumn! Take advantage of the moderate temperatures and the beauty of the season and get in plenty of time outdoors. Spending time outside has proven health benefits boosting our mental health, our immune system, and our Vitamin D levels (more on that later). Not to mention that the fall offers tons of great opportunities for exercise! Take a walk and admire the leaves, join an intramural sport, or get in a workout raking up all the leaves.

Take the time to slow down.

Some refer to September as the new January with school starting up and many people using the fall as a period of goal reset. Things get busy in the fall, after the dog days of summer, so it’s important to take time for rest and relaxation. The fall is a reminder that the benefits year is coming to a close, so schedule some PTO for a family day or some much needed R&R. Don’t fall victim to burnout, this fall!

Boost that immune system!

Flu. Coronavirus. The seasonal sniffles. Fall is the season when our immune system gets slammed the most. Between social changes like kids going back to school and the weather impacting our body’s natural defenses, the secret to a healthy autumn is supporting your immune system however you can. Be sure to drink plenty of water, wash your hands, and enjoy foods that boost your immune system like broccoli, yogurt, and ginger.

Get plenty of Vitamin D.

Our bodies make Vitamin D when we get plenty of sun exposure, but that becomes more difficult as the days get darker and colder. We need Vitamin D to keep our bodies healthy and fight off infections. That’s especially important during the fall flu season and into the winter. Since many of us can expect to not get as much sunshine in the fall, it’s important to supplement Vitamin D into our diets. Oily fish (like mackerel and tuna) and mushrooms are excellent sources of Vitamin D!

Practice good sleep hygiene.

Every year, Americans report grogginess and disturbed sleep routines when we “fall back” for Daylight Savings. The autumn presents an array of challenges, like early darkness, that can only be combatted with proper sleep hygiene. It’s important to listen to your body and maintain a regular sleep schedule. Experts recommend “following the sun” and allowing your body to adjust to an internal clock that quiets down when it gets dark and rises with the sun. If scheduling your busy day around the sun doesn’t work for you, practice good sleep hygiene by avoiding electronics right before bed and being mindful of your caffeine consumption.

Schedule your annual checkup.

As the year begins to come to a close in the fall, it’s important to schedule your annual health checkups and exams before the end of your benefits year. Regular checkups with your healthcare provider help establish a baseline of health through preventative care and help you to detect possible health issues. That’s what healthcare benefits are for! In particular, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Remember to schedule those exams and screenings!

Don’t forget the flu shot!

There are a few inevitable signs of fall: The days get cooler, the leaves change color, and flu season sniffles and sick days ramp up! The flu may be out of sight and out of mind, compared to current COVID-19 concerns, but it’s still important to stay up to date on your flu vaccinations. One good thing that came out of 2020 was the reminder that practicing good hygiene and staying home when you’re sick are good at preventing any illness! Take care this flu season.

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