The change from summer to fall gives you lots of opportunities to improve your health. This year, consider taking steps to improve your diet, exercise routine and lifestyle habits. Here are some suggestions:
Go apple picking. Apples are a great snack because they’re filled with fiber, and low in sugar. You’ll also be getting exercise as you walk around the orchard!
Add pumpkin to your diet. Pumpkin is filled with nutrients including vitamins A and C. It’s also low in calories—as long as you’re not having it in a pumpkin-spiced latte. You can add pumpkin to salads and soups, bake pumpkin treats and use pumpkin butter instead of regular butter.
Take fall foliage walks. The next time you want to admire the changing colors of the trees, don’t jump into your car. Instead, lace up your sneakers for a foliage walk. The American Heart Association recommends getting 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day, five times a week. Walking is a great way to meet that goal.
Get a flu shot. Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization or even death. Since different flu strains circulate each year, you need to get a flu shot every year to protect yourself. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season.
Protect yourself from colds. There’s nothing high-tech about cold-prevention strategies. Cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze, wash your hands regularly, get plenty of rest and eat a healthy diet.
Avoid the sports fan trap. When planning snacks for watching football or other sports, avoid the usual beer and chicken wings. Make a platter of cut-up colorful veggies with low-fat dip, and use lean ground turkey for burgers instead of beef. Have some unsweetened iced tea on hand. If you’re going to alcohol, consider light beer or wine spritzers.
Get ready for winter. It’s not too early to start thinking about preparing for the cold weather. Have sturdy boots before the first snowfall. Be prepared for winter storms with flashlights, battery-operated radios and salt for your driveway. And find an indoor exercise activity that will keep you fit through the winter months.