Leaves are changing, temperatures are dropping, the air has a certain crispness and pumpkin spice lattes are everywhere. Fall is an important transitional time from the hot, yang days of summer to the cooler, yin days of winter.
Everything starts to turn inward and slow down: It’s the perfect time of year to take extra care of your body to prevent illness and boost energy.
Establishing a Healthy Foundation for Fall
Our immune systems can really be challenged by the shorter days and cooler temperatures this time of year: Colds, runny noses, clogged sinuses and sore throats abound. Prevention is key in cold and flu season, and a healthy lifestyle is the foundation for good health.
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Here are 5 tips to help you stay healthy this season!
1. Nourish your body with seasonal foods:
Autumn is harvest season: the time to reap what you planted in the spring and nurtured throughout the summer. Fill your plate with seasonal fruits, vegetables and herbs. Greens are plentiful, as is a rainbow of vitamin rich veggies that can be thrown into a quick soup along with blood building bone broth and virus fighting garlic and onion.
Get your ABCs: arugula, beets and carrots (and all of nature’s bounty) can keep you healthy all winter long.
2. Tune into nature’s sleep cycles.
With the transition to fall, you may be noticing a change in your energy levels. If you’re feeling extra sluggish, embrace it! The decrease in energy is likely related to the decreased amount of sunlight. Before electricity, humans were tuned into natural sleep cycles: The absence of light meant that it was time to sleep. So, as the endless days of summer wane, go to bed earlier when you can.
3. Spend time in nature.
Forest bathing is all the rage lately, and with good reason. A new meta-analysis in the journal Environmental Research finds that people who spend more time in green spaces have significantly reduced risks for a number of chronic illnesses: Those who spend more time in nature have reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol, lower heart rate, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and reduced risk of type II diabetes. Get outside and indulge in the crisp coolness of the season.
4. Express gratitude
Autumn is when we traditionally focus on giving thanks, and it’s the perfect season to buy a sparkly new notebook and begin a formal gratitude journal. According to a 2012 study in Personality and Individual Differences, grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier than other people. What are you thankful for today?
3. Boost your immune system with bodywork.
When your body is balanced and nourished, it can function the way that it was designed to do! Your body is an amazing and complex system that can fight off germs and stop sickness in it’s tracks. If your body is aligned and your chi is flowing, you WILL feel better!