Tips for Taking Health into the Fall and Winter
As we move through Fall and into Winter, temperatures are dropping, daylight is decreasing, and the holiday season is approaching. Many people find themselves lethargic during this time of year, as well as frustrated that their previous routines–ones that may have included more outdoor activity and more fresh fruits and vegetables–seem to be falling by the wayside. But, wellness is something that can be prioritized year-round, and here are some tips for doing just that.
Eat Warming Foods
Bodies benefit from warmth when they’re cold! Heat them up with soups, stews, cooked fruits and vegetables, hot beverages, and spices like cinnamon, ginger, cumin, cloves, and hot peppers. Slow cookers are perfect for these foods, which can be prioritized over colder ones like salads, raw fruits and vegetables, and cold drinks. We’ve talked a lot about seasonal foods, so it makes sense to be eating things like sweet potatoes and baked apples instead of watermelon and cucumbers, as well as having hot tea instead of iced tea.
Take Some Time for Downtime
There’s less daylight now, and Fall and Winter are often slower paced than the longer days of Summer. Allowing yourself to slow down during this seasonal transition is likely more helpful than fighting any discomfort you may be experiencing. So, take some time to rest, as this will help you feel more connected to the season. Viewing this as self-care rather than “being lazy” is imperative, too.
Stay Active, Get Outside
Once you’ve given yourself some time to adjust, see if you can find a way to incorporate some movement into your days. Activity is beneficial year-round, as is time spent outdoors. If you’re someone that regularly took walks during warmer weather, bundle up and take the same walks now! Also, don’t be afraid to try something new. There are tons of free resources for guided activity that requires little or no equipment, including YouTube and phone apps. Ask around to see which ones fellow drivers find beneficial, and give them a try.
Consider Vitamin D
Vitamin D is vital to health for many, many reasons. Vitamin D deficiency is a risk factor for depression, and considering the prevalence of Seasonal Affective Disorder, this is really important to consider during Fall and Winter. Bodies make vitamin D when exposed to the sun, and depending on where you are in the United States, you’re not likely to be making much vitamin D during the Winter, especially if you’re not outside much. This is important because food is a not a reliable source of vitamin D. It’s found in fatty fish like salmon and tuna, as well as beef liver, cheese, egg yolks, and some dairy products, but many, many people still don’t get enough and need to supplement. Talk to your doctor about testing for vitamin D!
Wishing you all safety, warmth, and good health!