We scoured the health and wellness websites, googled health experts and asked our staff to come up with what we think are the 8 top tips for your best health this Autumn. We’re one week into March and 11 days from Autumn (official dates 20 March – 21 June) with Covid lurking on the edges; it’s in all of our best interests to mind our health.
- Boost your immunity – before the chill of winter really kicks in, get your immunity in top shape. Vitamin C and Zinc are the top two nutrients to boost your immunity. To get lots of Vitamin C, eat plenty of citrus fruit, such as oranges and orange juice, peppers, strawberries, blackcurrants, broccoli, brussels sprouts and potatoes. To get some Zinc go for red meat, chickpeas, lentils and beans, pumpkin and sesame seeds, cashew nuts, spinach and kale and, our favourite, dark chocolate. Alternatively, or as well as, find a good multivitamin.
- Get more sleep – With evenings getting shorter and nights a bit cooler, it’s easier to hit the sack for a good night’s sleep than it was a few weeks ago. Sleep is one of the best things we can do for our mental and physical health so make it a priority. For top tips on how to get a good night’s kip, check out this blog from last year.
- Get on top of seasonal allergies. Allergies can make your life miserable, and the change of season can make them flare-up. It can also make it difficult to tell if you have a cold! Try some or all of the following; keep your windows closed, delegate outdoor chores like lawn mowing and weeding (in fact, do that anyway), hang your laundry inside, try a nasal rinse, and start your day with a large glass of warm salty water. If it gets really rough, head to the pharmacy, there’s no point feeling miserable.
- Change your fitness routine – as summer ends, your motivation to get outside and exercise can drain away. Trying something new can re-energise you to keep going into the cooler months, so check out local gyms or indoor sports - dance classes, badminton, squash, trampolining. One of the outcomes of the Covid pandemic has been great online fitness classes, – you could try yoga, Pilates, and heaps more in the privacy of your own home.
- Eat in-season food - Don’t start winter comfort eating just yet but do include more warming foods (Autumn is apparently not the time to start a raw food diet). Chinese medicine especially recommends eating for the seasons. The Chinese say as the outside temperature decreases, we want to warm the body from the inside, and this is made possible by nourishing ourselves with foods that maintain the body’s internal heat. Eating in-season food supports this. Stock up on things like Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Buttercup Squash, Butternut, Cabbage, Capsicum, Carrots, Cauliflower, Chilli Peppers, Courgettes, Eggplant, Fennel, Kale, Kohlrabi, Kumara, Leeks, Mushrooms, Onions, Parsnips, Potatoes, Radishes, Rhubarb, Silverbeet, Spinach, Spring Onions, Sprouted Beans and Seeds, Swedes, Sweetcorn, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watercress and for fruit things like Apples, Blueberries, Feijoas, Honeydew Melon, Kiwifruit (Gold), Limes, Mandarins, Nashi Pears, Nectarines, Passionfruit, Peaches, Pears, Persimmons, Plums, Rock Melon and Watermelon.
- Get outside. Even though you might have moved your fitness indoors, it’s essential to get outside during winter. Getting outside ensures you get a daily dose of Vitamin D, which comes from sunlight. Spend some time outside daily, even a few minutes is enough, by going for a walk around the block, taking your coffee outside or park further away at the supermarket, so you have to walk to the entrance.
- Get a flu jab. In as little as a year, we could be talking regular covid jabs, but for now at least, keep the flu away with a flu vaccine. Flu vaccines protect us against the main flu viruses that, research suggests, will be the most common during the upcoming season. It’s your best protection against the flu, as even if you get it, your symptoms won’t be as bad. The vaccine will be available from 1 April, and you can have it at your family doctor/general practice, accident and medical clinic, workplace/occupational health service and some pharmacies.
- Keep the cold and flu germs away. We’re getting pretty good at these things now, actions that a year ago would have taken the effort to remember. Make sure you sterilise your most touched items regularly (yourmobile phone, door handles, keyboards and remotes), keep your hand sanitiser handy, wash your hands for 20 seconds, wear a mask on public transport and most importantly of all, keep scanning that Covid App.