With the summer holidays long gone and the festive season a distant memory, autumn heralds the start of a slow-down. It’s time to pay attention to your diet, your health, your sleep, and your exercise routine so that you can be your best self when the coughs, colds and cases of flu start doing the rounds again. And, given that many of these lurgies start to appear during the autumn months, it really is beneficial to start looking after yourself now.
Feed your immunity with a healthy diet
Your diet plays a key role in how well you’ll fare over the coming winter. By starting now, you can build up your immunity the natural way – eating foods rich in the vitamins and nutrients your body needs to defend against everything from the common cold to the winter blues.
To boost your immunity, stimulate your lungs and support your gut, try to eat a colourful array of fruits and vegetables. In autumn, look for delicious fresh berries, apples, pears, oranges, rhubarb, mushrooms, spinach, broccoli and beetroot. Throw in a handful of nuts each day – walnuts, almonds and pine nuts are not only super nutritious but delicious too. Don’t forget the garlic, renowned for its anti-microbial, anti-viral properties.
If you haven’t yet jumped aboard the bone broth bandwagon, now is the time to. Rich in minerals, bone broth is great for your digestive tract – which is where the majority of your immune cells live. Either make it yourself or hunt some down in your local health food shop or supermarket.
Hit winter with peak fitness
Before the winter lurgies emerge, it’s a great idea to establish an exercise routine that includes some cardio and strength activities. While fitness itself will not stave off an infection, it will give you a fighting chance of recovering quickly from whatever colds and flus come your way.
Autumn is the perfect time to hit the running track, jump on your bike, head to the gym or simply do a brisk walking lap of the block. The days are still long enough to make the most of the morning and evening light. Even better? Those wonderfully crisp, cool mornings make for a refreshing, invigorating way to start the day.
Pamper your body and mind
Think of autumn as a time of rejuvenation. After all the excesses of summertime, these months are for restoring your balance and wellbeing. Book a massage, take a bath, make a soothing pot of herbal tea in the evening and curl up on the couch with a good book. Consider weaving a new healthy habit into your life – meditation or mindfulness, perhaps; or even something as simple as drinking more water. Whatever you choose to do, enjoy this season of change. You deserve it.