- Laura Fitzsimmons, Pharmacist Manager, Collector's Hill Apothecary
FALL INTO HEALTHY HABITS
TIPS TO BOOST WELLNESS
Scientific research shows how both our physical health and mental health are affected by the decrease in temperatures and an increase in time spent indoors during the fall months. However, having a clear understanding of what to expect and preparedness will keep you in tip-top shape for fall and beyond.
Maintain Adequate Vitamin D Levels
During the summer, most people get their daily recommended dose of Vitamin D from sun exposure by spending about 10-15 minutes per day outdoors. But, with the sun out for fewer hours and beach days a thing of the past, fulfilling Vitamin D requirements during the fall is a bit tricky.
Research links low levels of Vitamin D to everything from increased colon cancer risk to anxiety. Though it's best to get nutrients from foods, obtaining adequate Vitamin D from diet alone is not easy. Foods such as fatty fishes (salmon, lake trout and albacore tuna), egg yolks, fortified cereals and cheese are all Vitamin D rich. But, specific populations, including pregnant women and vegans, may want to consider a Vitamin D supplement. As, while the daily recommendation is 400-800 IU, some people need upwards of 1,000-4,000 IU per day to keep their levels in the adequate range. Consult your doctor to determine what's best for you.
Get Enough Sleep
Contrary to popular belief, spending a few extra hours cuddled under the duvet isn't necessarily helping you. Keeping a consistent sleep schedule is perhaps the most essential piece of sleep hygiene. As the sun rises later in the fall and winter months, access to blue light is less significant and interferes with our circadian rhythm. This hindrance throws off our body's internal awareness of the times to be tired versus alert. It's essential to maintain consistent bed and rise times daily to combat your body's craving for extra sleep.
Perhaps the one thing working in favour of a peaceful slumber is the refreshing drop in temperature fall brings. Sleep studies show the best sleep patterns occur in a cool environment, especially for those who experience night sweats.
Logging the recommended seven to eight hours of restful, restorative sleep each night is vital. If you struggle to maintain a healthy sleep routine by finding it difficult to fall asleep or sustain a restful night's sleep, consider supplementing your diet with CBD Hemp Oil products. You can find many CBD options in dispensaries at The Phoenix Stores in capsule, liquid and gummy forms.
Your body depends on water to survive and its overall good health. Every cell, tissue, and organ in your body needs water to work effectively. For example, your body uses water to maintain its temperature, remove waste and lubricate your joints.
Most people understand drinking six to eight, eight-ounce glasses of water each day is a reasonable goal. However, not everybody is the same and as such people require different amounts of water to stay hydrated. As a rule, if your urine is usually colourless or light yellow, you are likely well hydrated. And, if your urine is a dark yellow or amber colour, you may be dehydrated. Signs of dehydration also include dry skin, headaches, dizziness and lack of energy.
It may seem counterintuitive, but folks are more likely to be dehydrated during the cooler months than in the warmer months as our thirst response diminishes during this time. Your body isn't so quick to remind you to drink water.
Though water is best for staying hydrated, other drinks and foods can help you stay hydrated too. However, some may add extra calories from sugar to your diet. Fruit and vegetable juices, milk, and herbal teas add to the amount of water you get each day. You can also find water in fruits and vegetables like watermelon, tomatoes, lettuce and soup broths.
Sports drinks are good hydration options for those planning to exercise more aggressively than usual. The carbohydrates and electrolytes in sports drinks can help your body absorb water. But, be wary of those sports drinks which are high in calories from sugar and may contain high levels of sodium (salt).
If you find it difficult to drink plain water to stay hydrated, try adding one of the exciting flavours of Nuun to your water. Nuun effervescent tablets are tasty and loaded with electrolytes to keep you healthy and hydrated.
Prevent The Flu
The flu can be severe, even deadly if you have a health condition like asthma, heart disease or a weakened immune system. Though the trick is to not get sick in the first place, here are a few proven ways to avoid the flu:
1. Get vaccinated. The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get a flu shot each year, ideally early fall. The flu vaccine is designed to protect against those flu strains health experts believe will be most widespread each season. Hence the need for a new vaccine each year.
2. Wash your hands often. Good health habits like washing your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based rubs can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu.
3. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. And, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth to prevent the spread of germs through touch contamination.
The cooler temperatures are a reprieve from the sweltering summer presented as a gift before the cold winter. Fall is a perfect season to get outside and enjoy a run, walk or bike ride while increasing Vitamin D levels to make you happier and improve your concentration. If you require a less intense workout routine, consider 30 minutes in the garden or playing outdoors with your kids to burn an easy 150 calories.
Maintain Good Nutrition
Embrace seasonal superfoods! Pumpkins are good for more than just carving; they're jam-packed with immune-boosting Vitamin A and are weight loss friendly. Plus, these low calorie, low carbohydrate gourds can be roasted, mashed, turned into a soup and used in baking.
Loads of other autumn veggies can also add a healthy bump to your diet, like fibre-filled beets, Vitamin C-packed brussels sprouts, and potassium-rich sweet potatoes. Hit up the farmer's markets to discover which produce is in season and fresh – they'll all be useful for you.
Be sure to get an adequate supply of essential vitamins and minerals, preferably from your diet. If you need to supplement, ask your pharmacist about the good, reputable brands available in-store. One way to help keep you and your family healthy is by stocking up on healthy essentials including Vitamin C, L-lysine, zinc and immune-supporting herbs like echinacea.
For a full range of supplements, hydration and CBD products, pop by The Phoenix Stores to chat with your pharmacist who is happy to make recommendations on your specific needs.