Crisp air, crunchy leaves, tea, stews… there’s so much we love about Autumn. Not as much of a fan? You’re not alone. Shorter days and a dip in temperature can contribute to the onset of the blues. Autumn is a phase of transition and the perfect time to introduce a string of healthy habits that will protect you from illness and help you feel happier. Here’s a list of 8 tips that will help you beat the blues and keep your immune system boosted!
Up your Vitamin D intake
Despite the fact that our bodies are magical machines with survival superpowers, unfortunately it cannot produce Vitamin D itself. Vitamin D is vital in order for us to obtain calcium, ensure the normal functioning of the immune system and promote healthy bones. In the summertime, many of us sun chasing people have no problem filling up on vitamin D as we can get it through direct sunlight on our skin (ultraviolet B rays). In the colder months, however, we need to get it by taking supplements, as we can’t really get the right amount of vitamin D from our food. The recommended amount of vitamin D is 10-20 micrograms or 400-800 IU a day.
Get exercising – outside!
We all know how exercising releases endorphins, which is great as they trigger positive feelings in the body. However, they also help reduce our perception of pain and decrease our stress, anxiety and depression levels. Therefore getting into a great exercising routine is a great thing to help keep your mood up in the months with less daylight – and it’s important to start the habit before it gets too dark! There’s no reason to wait, as it will only get harder to motivate yourself when the days really get short. Furthermore exercising outside even if it is cold, brings even bigger advantages than exercising indoors. Studies have shown that compared to exercising indoors, exercising outdoors in a natural environment boosts our mood and self-esteem. Also exercising outside can help you stay warm indoors, as you can acclimatize your body to colder conditions.
Juice + your immune system = a love story
Juice is never a bad idea. It’s fresh, it’s healthy, it’s colorful, it looks beautiful (most of the time) and it can be combined in infinite ways so you’ll always find a combination that you like. Obvious yes, but here’s the trick: Make sure you use some of these immunity-boosting ingredients to keep sickness at bay: ginger(immune function, pro digestion), maca powder(vitamin B, C and E, helps period pains), spirulina(vitamin B-1, B-2, B-3, calcium), carrots(vitamin A), berries(antioxidants). In every transition phase, our body is working overtime to adjust itself and every single one of these bad-boys we’ve listed here will help you steer clear of catching a flu or a cold and help you keep your skin glowing over the dry winter season.
Turmeric lattes, your new best friend!
Hands down, this is your new best buddy when it comes to a health boost. Of course you can use turmeric in your juice too, but this miracle worker is so fab that it deserves its own category! Generally, turmeric lattes are delicious (especially with almond or coconut milk) but it’s strong anti-inflammatory qualities also includes the following qualities: It helps your skin as it can reduce redness and skin irritation, boosts your memory function, promotes stem cell repairs in the brain, relieves joint pain (perfect for the post-gym pain) and also relieves arthritis (which for many people gets worse when it’s cold), fights infection and reduces the bad cholesterols, whilst boosting the good kind.
Sleep your way to the top
If you want an interesting read, we highly recommend picking up a copy of Arianna Huffington’s book ‘The Sleep Revolution’, which is all about how much power there is in getting a proper night’s sleep. We’re healthier, happier, smarter and loads more productive when we prioritize 7-9 hours of sleep each night. To tap into some of these amazing qualities and to prevent yourself from falling into a slump, make sure you get into a great routine now. You know what that means? Bye, bye emails, ipads, laptops past 9pm. 8:30 if you want to challenge yourself!
Morning meditation minutes
Meditation is such a great thing, but also a mixed bag of sweets. Because what actually counts as meditation? Anything that helps you stop thinking for a while and get you into your body – even if it’s just gazing blankly out the window for 20 seconds. It doesn’t have to be 30 minutes a day. Closing your eyes and focusing on breathing into our abdominal area for as little as just 5 minutes can help you connect with yourself. In the summer it’s easy to jump out of bed and be fresh, however as the weather turns up the chill factor, that can get more and more difficult. Do yourself the favour of getting in a nice little morning routine now with 5-15 minutes of focus on your breath first thing each morning. It will help you set your intentions for the day and get ready to jump out of bed.
Drink enough water
It applies all year round that we need to drink more water, but staying hydrated never goes out of fashion. Not only will drinking enough water help you steer clear of headaches, it will also help your skin, hair and nails stay break-age free! Furthermore, as we start to spend more time indoors, we also tend to eat more heavy foods. In order for you to help yourself make the right food choices for your body and to aid digestion, as you change what you eat, make sure you drink enough water. And look, it doesn’t have to be flavourless! Add in a slice of lemon, cucumber, a leaf of basil or anything else you fancy to ‘spice’ it up a little.
Autumn truly is a beautiful time! For many people though it’s also a sad time, as it means the end of short dresses and open-toed slides. If you’re one of those people, then make sure you go for a walk outside once in a while so that you can appreciate what goodies this season comes with. Seasons come and go, and it’s okay to be sad now the darker days are upon us. However, it makes it a lot easier when we focus on the good things that the changes bring! Even if it’s hard – try to focus on the new possibilities this season opens up, that the summer doesn’t allow for. Cosy cashmere, new fitness goals, fairy lights, cinnamon porridge, pumpkins! Speaking of pumpkins…How’s that Halloween costume of yours coming along?
Article by Molly Jennings, sourced from Hip and Healthy Magazine