Stay In Peak Shape This Season With This Fall Self Care Guide
Welcome to fall—cold and flu season is at large, the days are getting shorter, your work schedule is piling up, and all the holidays are looming just over your shoulder. It is time to participate in our self-care guide to make it to winter in one piece.
“[Fall] is a season where we should pay a little more attention to self-care strategies, to make sure we have healthy habits in place through the holiday crush and the post-holiday period of catching up,” says Elson Haas, M.D., founder and director of the Preventive Medical Center in San Rafael, Calif., and author of Staying Healthy With the Seasons.
Consider some of the following self-care options to make the most of the time ahead. If you focus now on being kind to yourself, it can pay off in the months to come with a stronger immune system, lower stress levels, and more resilience recommends Haas.
Eat Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables
“Our bodies are designed to function at best with seasonal foods, especially if they’re also local,” Haas says.
You can enjoy most fruits and vegetables year-round thanks to the variety of frozen fruit options; however, fresh-picked seasonal produce provides a more powerful nutritional punch. Boost your nutrient consumption with fall favorites like pumpkin, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, and squash.
In addition to eating fresh fruits and veggies that are in season, choose local produce. Your fruits and veggies contain more nutrients with less travel time. Less travel time is better for our environment.
Change Up Your Workout
When you’re busy, it’s easy to get into a rut with exercise, but fall is a great time to make a shift and try a fresh approach to working out. A new workout program may give you an energy boost and reduce schedule-related stress.
In a time crunch? Streaming workouts let you work out anywhere. Check out options like Xtend Barre or Rough Around the Edges. Super short on time? Try 600 Secs for a full-body sweat session in just 10 minutes.
Take a Yoga Break
Restorative and yin yoga poses help you de-stress, and you can tackle these poses anywhere, even in your office.
If you are looking for a quick way to ground your mind and stretch your body, try child’s pose. Child’s pose is awesome because it stretches your hips and ankles, lengthens your spine, and gives you a few moments of peace to focus on finding your center.
Sneak a Nap
Try taking a 20-minute nap—even if you don’t actually fall asleep—because it can have major benefits for resetting your system, according to W. Chris Winter, M.D., of the Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine, and author of The Sleep Solution.
Winter says, “just once or twice a week, try napping at about the same time of day. Your brain and body will begin to anticipate this rest time, and kick off a cascade of de-stressing chemicals.”
It’s likely you already know about the many physical benefits of drinking enough water—from facilitating digestion to lubricating joints—but hydration is also important when it comes to affecting your mood. As the holiday crunch approaches, staying upbeat and healthy is super important, so stay hydrated!
“Most of all, just understand that as seasons change, so do we,” says Haas. “Recognizing that shift and working with it will really help you to thrive through the months ahead.”