boy-1209964_1280Summer might be fun, and spring is lovely, but the best season has got to be fall. The changing leaves, the brisk winds and the warm fires bring everyone closer, and the leisure activities can’t be beat. Over a third of Americans list fall as their favorite season, blowing all of the other seasons out of the water. However,  fall requires a change of habits to stay healthy, especially as the days grow shorter and the weather grows colder. Follow these tips to feel your best during the best season!

  1. Eat with the season. Some people use fall as an excuse to eat less produce, since many of the most popular items, like strawberries, peaches and peppers are out of season. But there are so many fruits and vegetables that reach their prime just as the weather begins to turn, so you should take advantage and get some variety in your diet. Apples, pumpkin, squash and broccoli are at peak freshness during the fall. Fill up your baskets with a new mix of fresh produce and get creative with mealtimes!
  2. Keep moving. Once the weather turns cold, it can be hard to maintain the exercise routines you might have built in the summer, but exercise does more than just keep you trim. Getting enough activity in your day is linked to a stronger immune system, better sleep and a happier mood. You might have to adjust what you do or where, but try to keep the same level of activity that you had in the summer to make the seasonal transition seamless.
  3. Get your vitamin D. Don’t let the cold weather chase you inside! Since the days are getting shorter, it might be harder for you to get out in the sunshine. But 15 minutes a day is really all you need to get the recommended daily amount of vitamin D, so use a bit of time to go for short walks outside or do some yard work.
  4. Wear sunscreen. Many people think that when the weather gets cold, they no longer need sunscreen to protect their skin. This is a dangerous misconception! You should continue wearing sunscreen throughout the fall and winter, because the sun doesn’t stop giving off ultraviolet radiation when it’s cold out. Wearing sunscreen will protect your skin from premature aging caused by sun damage, and it can also help keep your skin from getting too dry in the cold air.
  5. Strengthen your immune system. Fall typically signals the return of illnesses like colds and the flu, so it’s important to give yourself the best chance of fighting off infection. We already mentioned that getting enough exercise can boost your immune system, but there are several other things you can do. Adequate sleep and a healthy diet are both crucial to healthy immune function. High levels of stress can harm your immune system, so having stress reduction methods in place can make a difference in your ability to stay healthy.

This fall should be all about enjoying the weather and the many activities that come with the season, not about fighting off the flu and losing your good habits. Keep using your sunscreen and working produce into your diet, and enjoy all that fall has to offer. If you have any questions about how to build new fall habits to keep you and your family healthy, visit your local AFC Urgent Care today!