Everyone knows that Labor Day marks the end of the summer and the start of the fall. But, don’t believe me, take a look around you. Stores are loading up on holiday decorations, coffee shops like Starbucks release their fall spiced options like their famous pumpkin spiced lattes, and the kids are all back at school.
Here in Nashville, we celebrate live well with a little bit of what we call “Fake Fall.” Fake Fall is a time where we acknowledge that it’s going to become cooler, even though it’s hot in September. Look, the weather doesn’t care what the calendar says. It will cool down when it wants to, and we either pretend it’s getting cooler (hence, Fake Fall) or keep dressing and acting like it’s hot – which is exceptionally annoying and boring.
Change of Seasons
Even though the weather hasn’t changed, the reality is that fall brings with it a greater chance of catching a cold or flu. Seasonal illnesses such as cold or flu typically happen during the fall and winter months, while some suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This particularly challenging disease creates lethargy and depression for sufferers.
Regardless, taking precautions to stay safe and healthy during actual fall — or “Fake Fall” — should be a priority for everyone. A combination of diet, exercise, and sleep are foundations for living well during any time of the year, especially when seasonal illnesses are at their peaks.
Choosing a lifestyle of eating right, daily exercise, and getting enough sleep shouldn’t be complicated or challenging. To get started, you simply need to put down those potato chips, skip the sodas, get moving, drink more water, and get to bed at a decent hour.
4 Easy Ways To Live Well
- Exercise: The WHO, or World Health Organization, states that healthy living includes 75 minutes of vigorous exercise every week. The best way to think about what defines “vigorous” movement is that when you exercise to the point where speaking in long sentences is difficult, you’re at the vigorous level. You can break it up throughout the week and the day to include raising your cardiovascular, do some weight training, or long walks and hikes.
- Eating Well: Eating a plant-based diet that is high in fiber, is one option. For others, it may be a Keto diet, one that focuses on healthy fats and proteins. Regardless of the diet you consume, supplementing your diet with additional vitamins and minerals is a good suggestion. There are even options out there for personalized vitamins and other nutritional supplements, so discuss these with your healthcare provider to decide what is the most beneficial for your individual needs.
- Drink Water: Part of eating well is to drink enough water. Unfortunately, too many people skip on water and drink other beverages. Water is the body’s primary way to repair itself at the cellular level, so consuming anything other than water may impact the body adversely. For example, water serves to help the body regulate temperature (especially important when wearing a hoodie in the 90 degrees “Fake Fall” – I mean, c’mon, got to look good, ya know?). Another function of water is that it helps maintain flexibility in both the muscles and joints.
- Sleep: Too often sleep is the one area of our lives it’s easiest to sacrifice. Need to do some work after the kids are in bed? You can shave an hour off sleep. Want to catch up on your favorite show? Who needs to sleep right away, besides, you need to relax before you can fall asleep.
The problem here is that by not getting enough sleep, the recommended amount is at least 7 hours a day, putting our bodies at even greater risk of illness or injury. Sleep regenerates the body, enhances the mind, and bolsters the immune system, crucial once an actual fall occurs.
As the calendar turns from summer to fall and winter, staying healthy and living well is just a little more challenging. But by taking a philosophy of living well year-round, you’ll be better equipped to deal with the seasonal illnesses that pop up just in time to fight off all the allergies of the spring. A little TLC never hurts, and to fully enjoy the holidays and seasons.