The Autumn brings about many changes with the colder months and shorter days. We start to see beautiful autumnal colours with the changes to the leaves of the trees.
As mother nature makes changes to the earth and the animals and birds start to hibernate so to, do we.
As soon as the days draw shorter and the weather starts to get colder, we also start to feel changes to our mood. It is at this time that we struggle to get up in the morning and we often feel sad without the sunshine that we had been used to during the summer months.
Equally, we also start to feel a dip in our health as the cold and flu season starts to come upon us.
I want to share with you some of my ideas which can help you to feel and look healthy as we go through the autumn season. Hopefully, my tips will give you a lot more energy and help you to stay healthy during this season. Peak performance can be achieved with just a few useful steps.
Eating Seasonal Fruit & Vegetables
I am a huge believer in looking after ourselves as our bodies are so unique and good at looking after us. However, we do also need to help ourselves stay in the peak of condition.
One of the best ways of doing this is to eat well. I often talk about ensuring that we eat local foods and very seasonal foods. I always profess about staying away from processed foods as they have no nutrients and cannot look after our body’s health.
The importance of seasonal foods is to do with the fact that at different times of the year our bodies want different vitamins and minerals more conducive to warding off against disease and autumnal slow down.
Pumpkin and Squash is an orange fleshy coloured vegetable that is in abundance at Autumn. High in beta-carotene a plant-based Vitamin A necessary for good eyesight and healthy skin. Low in calories and high in Vitamin C, potassium, and fibre. Vitamins A and C also help us to keep healthy and free from colds and flu’s. Antioxidants also help us to control blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
Apples are usually associated with autumn although a large amount are available all year around. High in antioxidants and fibre and beneficial in combating against various diseases such as Cancer, Diabetes and Heart Disease.
Pomegranates have such powerful antioxidants which are shown to be greater than in green tea or red wine. Anti-inflammatory properties help fight against disease from Cancers to Alzheimer’s.
Cranberries are also another fruit full of antioxidants beneficial against several medical conditions especially improving immune function. Also, hugely beneficial in infections within the urinary tract and gall bladder.
These fruits and vegetables are just a few foods to add to your shopping list this autumn. However, any fruit and vegetable locally grown will help you to fight disease during the colder months.
Local grown foods usually have a lot more nutrients for our body to keep fit and healthy. Also, they generally have fewer pesticides used so will equally taste so much better especially if they have not traveled halfway around the world.
Water is also so important during the winter especially at a time when the cold stops us from feeling like we want water.
Just keep remembering that our bodies are made of 60% to 70% of water so it is important to keep replenishing. The food you are eating can be transported to the parts of the body that is needed but water is required to make that function happen.
I often start to boil the water I consume during the colder months. Adding ingredients such as ginger, mint and lemon which is not only refreshing but will also add extra health benefits can create a more interesting way to consume your water.
At a time when everything seems to take more effort exercise is important for you. With the colder and shorter days exercise can invariable be so good for us at this time.
Keeping our bodies moving will give us more energy, help us to feel good and help to keep our weight down.
Mix up your workouts between Cardio, Strength and Mobility work to really look after our main organs, muscles and joints stay in peak condition.
I would also suggest that you do exercise to help the mind such as Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi or just deep breathing. Having a strong mind during a time when we generally find it harder to concentrate or where we often feel low in mood can be key to getting through the day. There are also many other things that we can do to help such as mindfulness and meditation techniques.
To better prepare yourself for the cold autumnal months ahead trying different things to find what works best for you will be good. We are all individual so there might be certain things that work best for you to others.
It would also be far better to ensure that you are doing something daily rather than once per week. Even if your workouts are shorter but they are a lot more regular will help you to feel better about exercise. Instead of making excuses about time or dreading your exercise when you must commit to an hour’s workout you will find that mentally it is easier to do a shorter workout more often.
Also, mixing your workouts up will allow variety to stop you from getting bored or used to working out in a particular way.
Ensuring that you get between 6 to 8 hours of sleep per week is important at anytime but especially during the colder darker days.
Sleep is important to our overall well being and can affect our thoughts, weight, energy, and mood plus so much more.
At times when we can become a little more irritable than usual which then can lead to stress one of the barriers that can help this is sleep. Sleep helps fight against stress so important to ensure that you are getting enough.
At a time when we are generally more prone to colds, flu’s and other diseases getting a good night’s sleep can be an important barrier to help us fight against these health issues.
During the summer months it always seems so much easier to get outside. As the autumn hits our appetite for outside air is easily exchanged for the duvet and sitting by the TV.
However, it is during the Autumn times that you will feel better if you get outside. Remember Vitamin D starts to deplete with less sun so even getting outside for 15 minutes every day will help.
Breathing in fresh air and being around nature can have such great benefits for our health and generally feel good factor.
So many studies have been conducted about the benefits to our health if we just get outside and enjoy a beautiful crisp, sunny autumn day.
Maintain A Routine
As the clocks go back it is so much more important to ensure that you maintain a good healthy routine.
The darker days can often seem to drag on forever and as we allow ourselves to become less active. This can have awful consequence to our mental well being.
Get yourself a good schedule that you can stick too incorporating all the above.
Shopping List and prepared meals for the week
Getting Active Outside
Good sleep pattern even over the weekend
A good schedule will enable you to feel better about yourself and keep you active at a time you need it more.
I hope that all my tips will help you to stay healthy in autumn and stay both mentally and physically healthy.
Ensuring that you are eating plenty of good local food to give you all the nutrients you need to help fight against cold and flu is important for your health.
Whilst keeping healthy is key my other piece of advice is to not beat yourself up if you really do feel below par and need what I like to call a “duvet day”. Sometimes a little piece of down time can really do wonders for your well being.
If you have any further questions or want any more advice, then please leave in the comments below.