Keeping Yourself Healthy In Autumn
As the long hot days of summer give way to cool crisp autumn weather, simple lifestyle modifications can help us adjust to the change in seasons. Autumn is a transitional season, moving from the hot bright yang nature of summer toward the cold dark yin nature of winter. The cooling weather ushers in the harvest and signals the start of the dying cycle in nature – leaves and fruits wither and fall, seeds dry, tree sap descend to the roots. The seasonal change also affects our bodies – especially the respiratory system, leading to an increase in colds, coughs and allergies.
Now that fall is officially here, you’ve probably already noticed people sniffling or appearing a bit less cheery than they did throughout the summer. And though the season is undeniably beautiful, it does require a bit more of an effort to keep yourself healthy and happy. As the air turns cooler and leaves drop from the trees, it’s important to keep a few healthy fall tips in mind. The temperatures have become cooler and the days are shorter. The morning air is brisk, and it’s time to start thinking if you want to spend a week of autumn cooped up at home, suffering from fever, fatigue and aches? Didn’t think so.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “The single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine each season.” And no, no, no, the flu vaccine cannot give you the flu. Hydrate with tons of water throughout the day, and your immune system will thank you. The foods you eat can also help prevent the cold. The leaves are bright on the trees and satisfyingly crunchy under your feet. The (usually) moderate temperature is a reprieve from the sweltering summer and a gift before the frigid winter. What better season to throw on a beanie and head outside? Plus, spending time outdoors increases your vitamin D levels, makes you happier and improves your concentration, according to Harvard Medical School.
Antibiotics can cure bacterial infections, but not viral infections. The common cold and the flu are viral infections, so avoid using antibiotics if you have one of these. Using antibiotics when they are not needed causes some bacteria to become resistant to the antibiotic, and therefore stronger and harder to kill. See your doctor or nurse to find out if your illness is bacterial or viral. Check or replace carbon monoxide batteries twice a year: when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall. Food is center stage during the holidays. Clean hands and surfaces often.
Exposure to cold temperatures can cause serious health problems. Infants and the elderly are particularly at risk, but anyone can be affected. Know how to prevent health problems and what to do if a cold-weather emergency arises. Remember that using space heaters and fireplaces can increase the risk of household fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. It’s best to wash your hands with soap and clean running water for 20 seconds. If that’s not possible, use alcohol-based hand rubs.
Autumn is a nice time to slow down and enjoy some internal reflection. By keeping the importantance of fall in mind, you can be sure you are doing everything you can to protect yourself and your family. This will leave your mind free to enjoy the beauty of this glorious season.