Falling leaves bid farewell to sweet summer and beckon autumn in. Like the moving hand of a clock, they mark time in their own chaotic way, the only way nature comprehends. Every step on campus is colored with red, orange and yellow — how great is this amazing beauty surrounding us! However, aside from these pleasant visual experiences, problems arise in our physical bodies too. Our unpreparedness in unpredictable weather change, render us unwelcoming sickness. In this article, I would like to share with you how to maintain a healthy life-style during autumn while still enjoying the awesome nature God created for us.
Rest Well and Keep Warm
A regular sleep schedule is the key to maintaining a healthy life-style in all seasons, especially in cold weather. A Harvard Sleep and Health study shows that seven to eight hours of sleep can strengthen your immune system and lower your risk of many health problems like high blood pressure. If you have a tight schedule like me, 10 to 20 minute power naps during the day also help. I have the habit of taking noon naps since I was in kindergarten and this small break really empowers me to function much more efficiently. Moreover, it’s essential to keep warm and be aware of weather change. It is a good habit to check the weather forecast the night before and prepare yourself for the next day. Taking a hot bath or shower before sleep has major physical and mental benefits too, de-stressing your body from a long busy day.
Have Your Flu Shot + Be “Armed”
The flu is carried in air droplets and is very infectious. Having a face-mask and hand sanitizer on you is a good mutual protection in a community. Each semester St. John’s University provides students with a free opportunity to get their flu shots. If you have a chance, definitely go by and get that shot! I am sure you all have experiences with a bad cold where you lay in bed for days, missed school work and develop flu-related symptoms. Getting a flu shot can greatly reduce this risk.
We are all familiar with “spring-cleaning,” but what about some “autumn-cleaning?” It is good to clean your house often, reducing the risk of getting any virus, bacteria or fungus growth around your daily dwelling place. In addition to furniture cleaning, closet cleaning is just as important. Allot a weekend to organize your clothes, take out thick and warm ones and declutter any summer wear that you are not likely to use in the next few months.
Eat Healthy and Seasonal Foods
It is always beneficial to eat seasonal foods and gain healthy ingredients directly from food instead of artificial pills. You can visit a nearby farmer’s market to know what fruits and vegetables are in season and swiftly adjust your recipe during different seasons. For instance, toasted pumpkin seeds with high protein or cinnamon and walnuts with high fiber are good choices in autumn. Vitamin rich fruits like oranges and kiwi are also good choices to stock up in your house or dorm because vitamin C can help ward off seasonal colds and boost your immune system.