September 22nd marked the beginning of Autumn. As we know, this means shorter, colder days. However, what a great season! Nature paints the landscape with a new array of color, festivities are in abundance and we can snuggle up inside and take time to unwind. Still, in order to make the most of it, we must make the most of our health. Here are some my tips to ward off the sniffles and keep you vibrant and alert this Season.
Firstly, your immune system needs a boost during the cooler months. Your body works hard keeping you warm and must also compensate for the deficiency in daylight. Nourishing your body with a nutrient-rich diet of fresh fruit and vegetables can’t be stressed enough. Keeping active will increase your heart rate, lower your blood pressure, release endorphins. Maintain joint flexibility and flush out unnecessary toxins. Taking supplements such as Vitamin D (our main source is ordinarily from the sun) can strengthen immunity. Deep breathing will support your body’s organs and your nervous system, keeping you well oxygenated and feeling easy. Invest in preventative care and enjoy the abundance of a body that feels wonderful to live in. Be happy and treasure your moments. Happier people are often healthier people. How do you apply these tips rather than just read about them? Here’s how. I’ll keep it simple.
Feed yourself the finest foods
As Autumn kicks in, you may recognize that familiar craving for heavy, filling foods, high in carbohydrates. Or, you may develop a taste for those sickly sweets you managed to avoid when the sun was full blast. Comfort food we call it. Culturally, we have embedded the idea that Summer is for salads and fruit, the Autumn is for indulging in all those things that are bad for us. Indulge! But indulge in goodness. If we are cold, our body wants to warm up quick – this is where the sugar comes in. Giving in to a desire for sugary foods will cause your blood sugar to spike and then crash. The crash will have you pining for more. In truth, any food will boost your metabolism and warm you up. Healthy snacks of high protein and high fiber will sustain you throughout the day. Graze on these. Almond butter is an option! The more consistently warm you keep your body, the less carbs you’ll crave. Treat yourself to this season’s vegetables. Organic shops and farms often sell veg boxes. These are the freshest you can find. Make smoothies, casseroles, soups and juices. Plan a menu of hearty meals that are also healthy options.
Okay, so the pace of life slows down and we prefer to spend more time indoors. This doesn’t mean become a couch potato! On average, we gain between 1 and 2 pounds over the Fall and Winter. For larger people, the number of pounds is often more. Over the years this equates to a lot of pounds. Staying active will not only prevent the weight gain, but strengthen you against unwanted illnesses, keep you joyful (and youthful) and allow you to maintain a flexible body. Wrap up warm and enjoy brisk walks. Join a Yoga class and stretch, breathe and balance. Take a swim class. Dance.
Invest in preventative care
As a chiropractor, I have many clients who visit me regularly for ongoing wellbeing. Often we associate chiropractors as being someone to visit if we have back problems, or other discomforts. In truth a chiropractor works with the entire structure of your body regardless of presenting symptoms. A finely tuned structure aids the smooth running of a whole system. Statistics show that regularly seeing a chiropractor reduces your chances of being admitted to hospital, or needing pharmaceutical aid, by approximately 80%. Whether you choose to have regular attention, or a seasonal tune up, your body will benefit in remarkable ways.
Be happy and make the most of things
really seize the moment! Make the most of this season’s offerings. Get out and about! Cozy in with your loved ones. Count your blessings. Make a list of all the things you love to do and do them. Hug! Yes, hug! Hug your friends, hug your loved ones, hug your pets, hug yourself! Hugging releases endorphins increasing feelings of happiness. Hugging actually increases your lifespan. Those who have lots of hugs, have hugs for longer. Hugging even acts as comfort. When you want that comfort food, comfort yourself with a hug instead.
Wishing you a happy, healthy Autumn!
Hugs to all of you!
Dr. Dave Tuck