Simple tips to stay healthy this fall

October 7, 2011

The leaves are changing colors, football’s on TV every Sunday, the kids are back in school…  Fall is here!  Check out these low-cost, easy tips on staying healthy in the fall.

  • Layer, layer, layer.  Fall days can be cool or warm, and the weather and temperature can change quickly.  Dressing in easy-to-remove layers can help keep you comfortable in varying fall temperatures.
  • Ward off the flu.  Talk to your doctor about whether a flu shot is right for you.  There are several low-cost, affordable options–you can get one at your doctor’s office or at certain pharmacies like CVS or Walgreens.  Plus, check into whether your employer offers free or reduced-rate flu shots.
  • Eat seasonally.  There are so many yummy fruits and vegetables that are in season in the fall, including broccoli, butternut squash, pear, cauliflower, cranberries, key limes, sweet potatoes, and, of course, a quintessential fall favorite–pumpkin.  Click here to view a full list of seasonal fruits and veggies for fall!
  • Prepare your car, too.  Depending on where you live, you might start to see frost on your car windshield in the morning.  Being a safe driver means you take proper precautions for your vehicle, too.  Start looking now for where you put last year’s ice scraper, de-icing spray, and perhaps even a small snow shovel.  Sure, it may be a bit early to use these things right now–but by putting them in your car now, you’ll know you have them when you do need them.
  • Enjoy outdoor fitness activities.  You can still walk, hike, bike, and jog in fall weather.  It’ll also give you a chance to enjoy the sights and smells of fall like the brightly colored leaves, the smell of someone’s fireplace, the cool, crisp evening air…
  • Wear reflective gear.  Remember that it gets darker earlier, and if you’re outside hiking, biking, jogging or walking, you may not be very visible to people driving cars.  Consider buying some reflective clothing and/or reflectors for your bike so that you can be seen more easily.
  • Try out an indoor fitness activity.  Do you prefer to avoid the cold?  Just because it’s a little chilly doesn’t mean you have to give up on your fitness goals.  Have you been looking for a good excuse to take a spinning class, a yoga class, or kickboxing?  “It’s chilly outside” sounds like a great reason to try a new-to-you indoor fitness activity.  (But remember to check with your doctor first before trying any new method of working out!)
  • Pick out some fresh food.  Many farmer’s markets are open until November or so; go take advantage of the fresh fall produce they offer.  Also, check out fun fall activities like apple picking or going to a pumpkin patch.  Not only are these fun, family-friendly activities, just think of all the culinary opportunities they present!  Homemade applesauce, apple pie, roasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin pie…and so many more!

For more tips on dressing, cooking, and working out for fall, check into whether your employer offers a wellness or a health advocacy program as part of your employee benefits.  A wellness program could provide you with advice on nutrition and workouts, while an advocacy service could help you find a doctor or nutritionist for you.  You may also want to check into whether your employer offers subsidized gym memberships or offers any fitness classes on-site that are free or low-cost for employees.

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