BY EOIN EVERARD
If you haven’t looked outside at all the rain in the last week let me tell you…It’s officially Autumn going into Winter! You can already feel the days becoming a lot cooler and shorter. The morning air will start to feel brisk, and before you know it, it’ll be time to start thinking about winter coats and woolly hats – which is why the sudden transition from summer to cooler months can feel like a challenge.
And with that also comes the time for the annual onslaught of winter bugs and the odd spell of feeling under the weather as our bodies adapt.
But it doesn’t have to be that way – well, not entirely at least. While you can’t completely avoid catching bugs and colds, you can give yourself and your immune system a helping hand to make sure you feel healthy, and great, this season.
And no, that doesn’t mean drinking all of those ‘vitamin-boost’ drinks, and fizzy tablets to make sure you’re set-up. If you follow these 5 simple steps it will make the transition a lot smoother and keep you healthier.
1) Boost Your Immune System
This one can tie in with both autumn and winter, but that’s because it’s an important one.
You need to boost your immune system to help prevent those annoying colds and sniffles that always happen as the weather changes.
Drink plenty of water, wash your hands often to prevent sickness and eat nutritious foods that are proven to help your immune system such as; broccoli, garlic, almonds, kiwi and poultry.
You can also drink green tea as a way to warm up on those bitter mornings and fill your shopping trolley with in season fruits and vegetables.
2) Embrace The Clocks Going Forward
This is the one that always trips people up!
Switching from light mornings where the sun naturally wakes you, to darker mornings that still feel like night, can be a big struggle.
But by going to bed earlier, especially straight away as the clocks have changed can have a massive impact on how you deal with the clocks changing.
Longer periods of darkness = longer periods of sleep! And you’ll find it easier to throw that duvet off in the morning.
3) Buy In-Season Foods
There’s so many great choices, but here’s just a few; apples, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, leek, onion, parsnips, pumpkin…I could go on but these are just some of the choices you have for in-season foods. Usually what is cheap in the supermarket is what is in season. Try to buy local foods as they are usually fresher.
Think delicious slow-cooked dinners, hearty soups and roasted vegetables. Probably one of my favourite times of year when it comes to food. Roll on Turkey and ham!
4) Stay Active!
This is my favourite one.
It can be really easy to sit around during the day when it starts to get colder, but it’s important to get in some daily movement.
Getting outside and going for a walk is a great one – it can help get rid of your stress, lowers your risk of Alzheimer’s, tones you up, keeps you moving no matter what your age and burns calories!
What’s not to love about going walking during the autumn months with all of the scenery we have at our doorstep? Go down by the Castle Park and canal and you will see such an array of changing leaves it is amazing.
5) Make Plans for The Cold Months
A lot of us will just ‘hibernate’ if we don’t have things to do during the day as it starts to get colder…
The best way to help with this is to make plans.
It’s so simple!
You can even use the time to kill two birds with one stone and make plans to go for a walk with friends – that way you’re keeping active and you’ve made sure that you don’t spend the day hibernating on the sofa.
Don’t get me wrong, it can be good to do occasionally when you need to relax – but it’s important to make sure you do things so all of those good habits you created during the warmer months don’t get left behind. We have traditional, healthy aging and Sports Pilates classes on that a lot of our clients say are great just to have something in the diary that keeps them active when the motivation is not as high in the winter.