With the leaves soon turning colors and the long summer days drawing to their close, families all over the Washington area are getting prepared for the fall season – as well as seasonal allergies, colds, and all of life’s little hiccups. As much as we adore getting to finally enjoy those pumpkin spice snacks and preparing for the holidays as they quickly approach, autumn always brings with it an increased risk of developing fevers, flus, aches and pains.
Yet a change of the weather doesn’t mean you and your children should have to worry about whether every sudden cough or sneeze means an upcoming sick day. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Follow our handy tips for staying healthy this season without having to fret about your health. Our family practice has some sage advice for you to keep enjoying the season without any downtime for illness.
Eat the Right Foods, Right Away
Keeping your immune system up is an absolute must if you want to get all the way to springtime without feeling blue. That means setting your family meal plan to encourage a balanced diet that gets the nutrition your body needs. If you love to cook, then you’ll also find the recent availability of seasonal foods a great motivator to go recipe hunting for new ingredients on which you may be missing out.
Family doctors always tell their patients to get plenty of Vitamin C and pumpkins offer plenty of it. The pulp found in a fresh pumpkin is vitamin rich in addition to being delicious when baked into a pie. As an added bonus, you are always left over with a beautiful pumpkin that’s fun to decorate and carve with the whole family.
Make Time for Regular Exercise
One of the other important vitamins to keep an eye on this autumn is Vitamin D. As the days get shorter and shorter, we tend to have less opportunities to enjoy the fresh sunshine and get the Vitamin D that our bodies need. It’s important to try to spend more time outside while the sun is out to ensure that your body is recharged with Vitamin D.
Of course, family physicians recommend that regular exercise is still an important part of your daily routine. Even if you’re not able to stroll through your favorite park midday, time should always be allotted for some exercise during the day. Maintaining an active lifestyle throughout autumn and winter will reinforce your overall health and further boost your immune system.
Maintain a Routine
At our family practice, we know that good habits encourage great health. If you’re already on a vitamin rich diet and exercising regularly, it’s important that you keep the momentum up. Reduced daylight hours can affect the way people stick to healthy habits. Active adults who run after work may find themselves not feeling as motivated to jog now. Deciding to abandon exercise and put it “off til’ tomorrow” often leads to extended periods of inactivity. Add onto this the temptation of sugary holiday sweets and heavy winter meals and you may just find health problems become more frequent.
It’s recommended that men and women of all ages restructure their daily or weekly activities to maintain a steady diet and exercise regimen. A morning jog or gym membership can go a long way to staying in shape during the shorter days.
Dress Appropriately for the Season
Although autumn and winter in the Washington area isn’t as bracing or chilly as in other places, families should always keep warm clothes and winter coats on-hand just in case. Scarves, gloves, and thermals are good clothing options should the weather take a turn and all that Pacific Northwest rain turns into freezing snow.
In addition to heavy clothing, it’s also advised that you own some boots with good grip or snow grip clamps for shoes. Last winter’s infrequent snowstorms in the area tended to be treacherous for the first day of snowfall and snow-laden ice resulted in many slips and falls. Although our region gets more rain than snow, it’s still a smart idea for families to keep those icy days in mind just in case.
Get a Flu Shot
Even with their patients emphasizing healthy life habits, family physicians still see the flu pop up now and then. It’s a smart move to get a flu shot now before the days start getting colder and flu season arrives in full. Taking the precautions to get vaccinated before sickness strikes will help ensure the next few months are sick-day-free.
Turn to Urgent Care When Needed
With all these tips in mind, our family practice recognizes that sickness – and accidents – do happen. Should you or your loved ones start feeling under the weather, contact us at one of our Washington locations. We are accepting new patients and our family physicians are here to help make sure you get the most out of your fall.