Autumn Health Tips

As much as we enjoy the hot, sunny and windy Cape Town days of summer, who can deny the lovely, colourful and cooler days of autumn ? It is time to unpack your sweaters, winter pajamas and scarfs for the more cooler morning and evenings to come.

Cooler weather also means taking better care of yourself and your kids. While you’re preparing for autum and the Easter holidays, add these 7 health tips to your autumn to-do list:

1 | Replenish your stash of immune boosters

Help keep yourself and your family healthy by stocking up on immune health essentials now. Try antioxidant vitamin C, L-lysine, zinc and immune-supporting herbs, omega 3 and echinacea.  And since at least 70% of your immune system is in your gut, it’s a good idea to reinforce digestive and immune health with probiotics and prebiotic fiber.

2| Embrace the Flavors of Autumn

Eating whole foods that are in season is the way to go year-round for nutritional impact, and the real foods available in fall are especially compelling. Tables and baskets at farmers markets fill to the brim with seasonal produce like squash, gourds, apples, beets kale, and brussels sprouts—and the list goes on!  Autumn is the perfect time to try healthy soup recipes, experiment with nutritional powerhouse spices like turmeric, Ceylon cinnamon and ginger.

3 | Emphasise on clean hands

Keep a natural hand sanitizer on your desk, stash hand sanitizer wipes in your briefcase or bag, and put them in your children’s backpacks too. Handwashing and sanitizing is the best way to keep your family healthy from contagious illnesses.

4 | Get a health check-up for you and your family

Autumn is an ideal time to get your yearly check-up to make sure you’re in tip-top health before winter weather begins. Be sure to check with your doctor about any seasonal vaccines you and your family may need. Remember to get your yearly flu vaccination from the age of 6 months and while you are pregnant. Ask your family doctor or paediatrician for any queries you may have about the safety of the flu shot.

5 | Detox from digital overload

Chilly weather may keep you indoors more often, but that’s no excuse to spend all of your time in front of a screen. All that blue light from electronic devices can harm your eyes! Instead of all that screen time, discover indoor activities that are interactive without the use of screens—like board games, creative hobbies and puzzles that challenge your mind.

Try online workouts or make up your own at home! You can get a workout just by turning up the music and dancing around in your living room with your kids. Find ways to fit more activity in throughout your day with mini workouts and health hacks for staying active.

6 | Keep your sleep in sync

The autumn time shift combined with shorter days means it gets dark early and leaves many of us feeling tired. That’s because when the sun goes down and lights are dim our bodies are triggered to produce melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep-wake cycles. Make sure your child has enough sleep to have more fun filled and energized days in winter.

And don’t forget that your body needs sunlight to produce essential Vitamin D. The lack of sun leaves you more likely to be low in vitamin D, which can also contribute to feelings of fatigue. Enjoy the sunny winter days outside with the kids for better sleep at night.

7 | Hydrate from inside out

Staying hydrated is just as important now as it was during the summer. Your body uses water for everything, all year long! Drink more to benefit digestion, fluid and mineral balance, waste removal, energy, mood, skin, joint lubrication and more.

Moisturize your body and hair with non-perfumed or fragranced products to keep eczema and dry skin under control.

So now that you have your soon-to-be winter warmer tips, make sure you pick at least 3 and get moving towards ticking them off! Your health will love you for it.