With the fall season upon us, some are eager for the cooler, crisp temperatures and others mourn the loss of summer heat and beach days. Regardless of your preference, there are steps that all of us can take to support good health and well-being during this season.
It's easy to soak up the sun when it's 80 degrees and the sun is shining. It's harder to get sufficient Vitamin D when we spend more time indoors and the hours of sunlight decrease. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) can result when individuals do not get enough vitamin D in their system. SAD can lead to seasonal depression, interrupt regular biological circadian rhythms, and affect serotonin levels (mood). Vitamin D is essential for supporting healthy bodily chemicals and functions.
Your Vitamin D goal: Step outside when the sun is out; even 10 minutes can be beneficial!
A healthy diet is one filled with lots of vitamins and minerals. Enjoy the delicious seasonal foods such as kale, beets, squash, cabbage, eggplant, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and leafy greens. In additional to the seasonal foods, cook up plenty of lean meats, poultry, and fish. Top off the plate with added whole grains, fresh fruit, and dairy. Avoid eating a lot of sugary foods, products made with high fructose corn syrup and trans fats. See our article on how to tune into season eating here.
Your Healthy Diet goal: Visit a local farmers market and purchase in-season produce.
Colds & Flu
Seasonal changes bring an increase in cold and flu outbreaks. Maintain a strong immune system - get adequate sleep each night (7+hours), eat nutritious meals and stay well hydrated. In addition, minimize contact with those who are sick and practice good hygiene by washing hands often. Carry hand sanitizer with you when you can't easily access a sink and apply often when you are at the office, stores, and touching unclean surfaces.
Your Immune System goal: Get 7+ hours of sleep, stay hydrated and eat citrus fruits.
Try to limit caffeinated beverages to 2 cups/day. Especially limit caffeine later in the day (after 3 pm) to avoid interrupting healthy sleep cycles. Alcoholic drinks should be used in moderation (women: 1 drink/day; men: 2 drinks/day). One way to enjoy sipping this season while boosting health is to drink more tea. Black tea has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, and other diseases. Herbal teas are also beneficial in helping many different conditions and are caffeine-free so these can be enjoyed all day. The bottom line: water should be your first choice.
Your Hydration Goal: At least 64 oz of H20, 2 cups of caffeine (no more), and 1 cup of tea!
Maintaining an active lifestyle is important to maintaining health and wellness. Sometimes people tend to get out less when the temps cool off - but don't let that change your outdoor activity routine. Wear appropriate clothing to stay warm! Other ideas include joining a gym, swimming indoors, taking indoor exercise classes, or joining a sports league to hold yourself accountable. If you need support, grab a buddy and plan weekly walks you can enjoy together!
Your Exercise Goal: Choose 1 realistic activity you will schedule time for each week!
Interested in jump starting your corporate wellness strategy? Contact OnSite Wellness today!