The transition from summer to fall in the Pacific Northwest is a time of beauty and change, but it also requires us to adapt our health routines. By staying hydrated, boosting your immune system, dressing appropriately, maintaining physical activity, being mindful of SAD, and managing allergies and asthma, you can ensure a healthy and enjoyable fall season.
In the Pacific Northwest, the cooler fall temperatures might deceive you into thinking that you need less hydration. However, staying properly hydrated is just as essential in the fall as it is in the summer. The dry air and potential wind can still lead to dehydration. Continue drinking an adequate amount of water daily, and consider sipping warm herbal teas, such as chamomile or ginger, which can also help boost your immune system.
Boost Your Immune System
Fall often brings an increase in colds and flu. To bolster your immune system, focus on a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Incorporate seasonal produce like apples, pumpkins, and squash into your meals. These foods are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help keep your immune system strong.
Additionally, consider getting a flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend annual flu vaccination to reduce your risk of influenza and its complications.
Dress in Layers
The Pacific Northwest’s fall weather can be unpredictable, with cool mornings and warm afternoons. Dressing in layers allows you to adjust your clothing as needed. A lightweight, moisture-wicking base layer, a insulating mid-layer, and a waterproof outer layer can help keep you comfortable and dry in changing conditions.
Maintain Physical Activity
Don’t let the changing weather discourage you from staying active. Engaging in regular physical activity is essential for both your physical and mental health. Take advantage of the region’s scenic beauty by going for hikes or nature walks, and consider exploring the vibrant fall foliage.
Mind Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Fall often brings shorter daylight hours, which can lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) in some individuals. If you notice changes in your mood, energy levels, or sleep patterns, consult with a healthcare provider for guidance. Light therapy, increased exposure to natural light, and lifestyle modifications can help manage SAD symptoms.
Allergies and Asthma
Fall can also bring about an increase in allergies, particularly due to mold spores and ragweed pollen. If you have allergies or asthma, be prepared by having medications and an action plan ready. Consider using air purifiers indoors and keeping windows closed on windy days.
Remember, consulting with your healthcare professionals at South Tabor Family Physicians, for personalized advice and guidance tailored to your specific health needs, is always a smart decision.