Log off Facebook, go outside to get your move on and enjoy fall fruits.
See ya, summer.
Welcome back, short days, crisp air and colorful leaves. Think of the new season as a fresh start to your healthy habits. Stow away the swimsuit and dust off the sweaters for apple picking. Enjoy the seasonal produce that makes this season so tasty. And celebrate the holidays like a health pro – by enjoying foods without overindulging. Here’s how to enjoy your healthiest autumn yet.
Think beyond pies and jack-o-lanterns.
All hail The Great Pumpkin. The pulp of this fall favorite is dense with vitamins A and C, and its tasty seeds, called pepitas, are rich in phytosterols, which may help to lower cholesterol. With all the health benefits of pumpkins, don’t they deserve to be more than a craft project that rots a few weeks later? Try a Google search for recipes for, say, roasted pepitas or pumpkin spread.
Get your flu shot.
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.
And while you’re at it, steer clear of the common cold, too.
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. Yogurt, with all its probiotic glory, has been shown to boost the immune system, and one serving of seaweed packs more vitamin C than an orange. Another immunity booster? The aforementioned autumn favorite: pumpkins.
Sign out of Facebook, ditch the fall lineup and head outside.
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.
And while you’re outside, get a workout.
Take in the changing scenery on a run, hike or bike ride. Join an intramural fall sport, such as flag football, soccer or Ultimate Frisbee. Want a workout that’s a little less intense? Consider this: For a 150-pound person, 30 minutes of raking leaves, 30 minutes of planting and weeding and 30 minutes of playing with the little ones each burn roughly 150 calories.
Everyday illnesses, aches and pains can set you back at work and at home.
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