Fall is upon us and that means changing temperatures, autumn colors, and the inevitable cold and flu season. With less time spent outdoors in the open air, it is typical for most people to find themselves in their homes surrounded by loved ones more often. While this fall will look a little different due to limits and restrictions for outings due to COVID-19, people are still susceptible to the common fall illnesses that float around during this time of year.
With colder temperatures arriving, it may seem easier to find an excuse to skip your morning walk or run due to colder temperatures. The truth is, even if it is colder out, moving your body and keeping your exercise routine up and “running” will help ward off certain illnesses. Add an extra layer and don’t forget your hat and gloves when the temperatures really drop. Hop on your bike or lace up your shoes and go.
Brush your teeth and wash your hands
Your mouth is one of the most bacteria-holding locations on your body. Be sure to clean those pearly whites and around your gums to protect your oral health. While at the sink, be sure to wash your hands as often as possible. Count to 20 while scrubbing, or sing your favorite song. This is one of the most effective ways to prevent contracting illnesses.
Get plenty of sleep
A no brainer. The Mayo Clinic recommends 7-9 hours of sleep for active adults. With adequate amounts of sleep, your body is able to successfully conquer tasks like muscle repair, memory consolidation and release of hormones regulating growth and appetite.
Eat healthy, fresh in-season Fall fruits and vegetables
Fall means some of our favorite foods are now more available in larger quantities due to a better growing environment and temperatures. Some of these vegetables include Apples, Bell Peppers, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Parsnips, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, and Winter Squash.
Drink plenty of water and non-caffeinated fluid
Caffeine is a diuretic, depleting your body of water. We need at LEAST 1/2 of our body weight in ounces of water a day for our body to focus on its primary functions. This will help flush toxins out of your body and provide your muscles and organs (especially your brain) with more energy to take on the everyday.
Refrain from using Tobacco
Tobacco products introduce a great number of harmful chemicals to your body. As a result, your body uses energy and toxin-eliminating functions to concentrate on removing these chemicals. This leads to less energy for functions dedicated fighting off sickness and germs that simultaneously enter your body.
Get your Flu shot
With the dangers of contracting COVID, it’s especially important to get your seasonal flu shot. This prepares your body to ward off the flu. If you receive your flu shot and begin contracting flu-like symptoms, this may indicate another health issue. Your doctor may wish to test for other viruses to help narrow down the problem, which could in turn help with recovery time.
Fall means change and a lot of it. Be sure to practice good self-health in order to avoid illness and have a safe, enjoyable autumn. If you have any questions about seasonal wellness or flu-like symptoms, contact your CCMH provider to set up an appointment today.
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The Sleep Foundation: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/what-happens-when-you-sleep