The leaves are turning, the temperature is dropping, the days are getting shorter … welcome to fall. As you enjoy the beautiful colors, smells and tastes of the changing season, why not make some changes to your health and wellness routine?
“Fall is a good time to make some changes to your health and wellness routine to help you stay healthy through this season and beyond into winter,” says Beth McGowan Welch, Executive Director at Park Place of Elmhurst, a Life Plan Community in the Chicago-area region. “Because of the changing daylight hours and the surge of cold-weather issues like flu and other bugs, you’ll want to make sure you’re doing everything possible to stay healthy and happy.”
Fortunately, it’s easy to fall into a new routine with just a few changes to what you’re already doing. Here are our top tips for helping you stay well all autumn long.
1. Eat seasonal veggies.
While summer is jam-packed with fruits and vegetables aplenty, fall’s harvest looks a little different. Squash, pumpkins, cabbage, broccoli and spinach are all abundant in the fields, so fill your plate with plenty of in-season items to keep your body healthy and fueled. Round out your meals with whole grains, healthy fats and lean proteins.
2. Get enough of the sunshine vitamin.
Vitamin D is found in sunlight and various foods, and it has a lot of benefits: it boosts your mood, helps your body absorb calcium, improves your immune system and controls your blood sugar. It’s easy to get plenty of vitamin D during the sunny summer months, but once fall hits, the colder days and longer nights mean more time indoors (and lower vitamin D levels). Get your boost by enjoying vitamin-D-rich foods like fish and milk, but you may also want to consider adding a supplement to your daily routine, too. Finally, try and get some sunshine every day, even if that’s just standing near a sunny window for 15 minutes.
3. Get your flu shot.
Experts are predicting that this flu season is going to be a doozy, and since this bug normally surfaces around October, now is the time to get your shot to stay protected. Most health insurance plans cover the flu shot at no cost or low cost to you. Flu shots are easy to get, either at a health clinic, pharmacy or your doctor’s office. If you’re still in the workforce, check with your office to see if they’re holding any sort of event to get employees vaccinated in one fell swoop.
4. Keep your hands clean.
Washing your hands helps keep germs at bay (as we learned in kindergarten). Make sure you wash your hands regularly, especially after sneezing or coughing, and before and after meals. For extra protection, carry hand sanitizer with you to “freshen up” in between hand washings. You’ll probably also want to stock up on some good hand lotion to keep your washed hands from becoming dry and chapped.
5. Stay hydrated.
Staying hydrated is just as important in fall as it is in the summer months. Yes, it’s easier to become dehydrated when it’s hot outside, but since we forget to drink water when the temperature drops, dehydration is common as well. If the thought of drinking plain water has you chilled, consider warm options like green tea and soups. Avoid caffeine, as this can just dehydrate you further.
6. Get a good night’s sleep.
Sleep is your body’s “reset” button and is key for optimal health, so try to catch seven to nine hours of ZZ’s each night. If you find yourself having difficulty getting or staying asleep, start a nighttime ritual that calms you down, helps you unwind and gets your body ready for bed. Make sure your room is comfortable enough (not too warm, not too bright, not too noisy), and avoid using screens at least an hour before bed.
7. Get plenty of exercise.
Staying physically active, along with a healthy diet, are the two best things you can do for your health. Fortunately, the fall weather is perfect for getting out and enjoying the season’s beauty. Alternatively, if you don’t like going out in the cold, cue up a fitness video on YouTube or another streaming service. Remember that the CDC recommends 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise 5 days a week. Be sure to add some strength and resistance training into your routine as well.
Explore Our Fitness Center
At Park Place of Elmhurst, health and wellness are always top priorities, no matter the season. That’s why our fitness center is filled with state-of-the-art machines, personal trainers and a wide variety of classes ranging from yoga to swimming and so much more. (Yes, we also have a full-size pool and a spa). That’s in addition to our comprehensive wellness program and our gorgeous, scenic campus with walking trails that are perfect for enjoying the fall colors.
Discover the Difference at Park Place of Elmhurst
Park Place of Elmhurst is a different kind of retirement community – you’ll enjoy a lifestyle unlike any you’ve experienced. A lifestyle that is maintenance-free with lots of helpful services, remarkable amenities with engaging neighbors just outside your door – all backed by Providence Life Services, a Christian-based organization that’s been a trusted name in Chicago-area senior living for more than a century.
Offering Independent Living, Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation and Memory Support, Park Place of Elmhurst provides peace of mind. Residents of Park Place have made the decision and moved into a Life Plan Community that will ensure whatever life change happens, Park Place is the right place for all their care needs. One of the fabulous benefits of choosing a Life Plan Community is the peace of mind knowing that you have made the decision and partnered with a community committed to providing all the levels of living from the day you move in.
We encourage you or your loved one to contact us to learn more about our exclusive community or schedule a personal tour by calling 630-239-5127.