Fall has finally arrived (though the weather is just now starting to cool off), and comes with its own seasonal challenges. Now is the time to renew your determination to staying healthy, as there are plenty of tempting opportunities to “break the rules.”
Halloween candy, anyone?
Consider creating a few guidelines for yourself, which can be followed even with the occasional “cheat day.” Here are 5 tips to get you started.
1. Don’t Ignore The Pumpkin Craze
Yes, don’t ignore the mighty Great Pumpkin. We don’t recommend a pumpkin spice latte every morning, but you can take advantage of the vitamin A and C naturally present in this favorite squash. Why not save the pulp and seeds of your annual jack-o-lanterns for a scrumptious treat?
Roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), pumpkin spreads, and roasted pumpkin are fantastic healthy treats to consider. You can indulge in them without having to resort to sugar-filled pumpkin pies and other sweets.
Additional health benefits include pumpkin seeds packing about 1.7 grams of dietary fiber per ounce, while mashed pumpkin has only 50 calories per cup and 3 grams of fiber. Fiber makes you feel fuller for longer, so your appetite is kept at bay. Pumpkin seeds can also lower your blood pressure and much more.
2. Keep The Pesky Flu At Bay — A.K.A. Get Vaccinated
Yes, it’s that time of the year again.
Every year, up to one-fifth of the population of the U.S. gets sick with the flu. Do what you can to avoid getting the flu this year, to avoid being laid out for a week or more.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “The single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine each season.”
Take matters into your own hands and avoid this year’s flu by getting the flu shot early. Don’t wait until it’s too late – a vaccine takes 1-2 weeks to take effect and provide protection. Being proactive is one of the best things you can do to avoid succumbing to this year’s flu season.
Schedule your appointment at a local care center today. If you’re in the Orange County area, visit one of our locations to get your vaccine for the seasonally low price of $25.
3. Steer Clear Of The Common Cold As Well
While you’re preventing the flu, it’s also a good idea to take preventative measures regarding the less severe, but still common cold viruses.
Hydration is a factor that you should take into account – your immune system will thank you. Also, the classic routine of washing your hands regularly works wonders – regular soap and water for 15 seconds is fine, and hand sanitizer gel is great if that’s not available.
What may be surprising is that the food you eat also affects the strength of your immune system. Probiotic foods like yogurt can boost your immune system, as well as. Also, getting that extra vitamin C from whole foods (like all the pumpkin you’ll be eating) is another way to boost your general immunity.
4. Exercise Outside…And Have Fun With It
Don’t let this Fall weather go to waste.
Did you know that spending time outdoors increases your vitamin D levels? According to Harvard Medical School, this can make you feel happier as well as improve your concentration. Also, getting a decent workout by doing active outside activities – now that the weather is cooling down – never hurts.
Some fun things you can do outside? There is plenty to do besides playing Pokemon Go — a fun activity we have recently discovered is called Fitness Scavenger Hunt. You map out your usual walking path and scatter a few workouts at certain landmarks in the path (i.e. park bench = 10 pushups, so every time that you see a park bench you have to perform 10 pushups).
Also, walking your dog, hiking, or getting involved in sports are other possibilities you can explore. Don’t delay this, because you’re missing out on the perfect time of the year to be active outside (alongside Spring).
Have any more tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments.