THE BLOG

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Roshini Raj, M.D. Headshot

4 Ways to Have a Healthy Fall

Posted: Updated:
Print

Can you feel the chill in the air? Fall is almost here. The shorts and swimsuits have been put away. Bikes and surfboards have been stored in the garage and with them, all your motivation to be active and healthy. Not so fast! Don't ruin all the work you did this summer. Read on and learn how to stay healthy and fit throughout the fall and the entire year.

Stick to Your Summer Exercise Routine

We've all been there. Our exercise routine starts to crumble with each drop of rain and gust of wind that passes by. After all, who wants to exercise when it's cold and dark outside? My advice: be more creative and don't stop just because it's getting colder. Regular workouts can help clear your fall blues and it is actually easier (and less dehydrating) to exert yourself in cooler temperatures.

So bundle yourself and your kids up in layers and go outside for a walk. Walking is as easy as A,B,C and requires little more than a sturdy pair of shoes. You can burn calories, increase blood flow and give your heart and lungs a boost. Plus, walking is a great stress reducer.

For more intense outdoor exercise like running, be sure to take some extra time warming up before you exercise in the cold.

What to Eat This Fall

It's true. We sometimes gain weight at this time of year. Part of it has to do with our tendency to eat healthier during summer than during any other season. In summer we take in more fruits and veggies, but we develop a strong inclination towards fatty foods in fall. Being less active also plays an important role in seasonal weight gain.

To avoid piling on extra pounds, eat plenty of apples, pumpkins and hearty greens such as Brussels sprouts that are all in season in the fall. Fruits and vegetables with dark, rich colors, such as kale and pomegranate are also this fall's go-to foods, as they are packed with essential vitamins and nutrients.

How to Improve Your Immune System

The common cold is highly contagious -- it can be inhaled or picked up from tainted surfaces and rubbed into an eye or the mouth or a nostril. But beyond frequent hand washing, there are a number of ways you can raise your immunity.

Getting enough zzz's is crucial to the proper functioning of your immune system. Make sure you have a well-established sleep pattern and you get at least 7 to 8 hours of solid sleep. High stress levels also play a role in impairing our immune system as people who are under persistent stress are more likely to get ill when exposed to cold viruses than people who aren't. While it seems tough to combat chronic stress, daily meditation can make a huge difference. Another way to strengthen your immunity during cold and flu season is to maintain a regular exercise routine. Aside from helping you stay in shape, exercise has been shown to bolster the immune system. Plus, it takes only five minutes for the mood-enhancing benefits of working out to kick in!

Back to School

One of the biggest back-to-school challenges for working parents is juggling work and family. We all know that fitting in a trip to the shopping mall or preparing meals for the family around a demanding work schedule and kids' activities is not an easy task. To balance the needs of work and children consider shifting your work schedule. Flexible schedules are becoming the norm at lots of companies. Forget about thinking that you can slip away unnoticed on Friday afternoon for back-to-school shopping. Be sure to talk to your boss ahead of time and let her know you are prepared to make up an extra hour or two by coming in to the office early or by staying late the next working day.

So try these simple tips and help make fall a fun and healthy time for you and your family!

Best,

Dr. Raj

For more by Roshini Raj, M.D., click here.

For more on diet and nutrition, click here.

From Our Partners