9 Healthy Habits to Take Up This Autumn! | Nourish
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9 Healthy Habits to Take Up This Autumn!

Posted: Thu, 03 November 2016, 09:19

Autumn is a phase of transition and the perfect time to introduce some new healthy habits to help protect you from change of season coughs and sneezes, and to protect you from feeling the blues when winter comes.

Here’s a list of 9 Healthy Habits to Take up This Autumn to keep your mood high and your immune system supercharged!

No. 1 - Up your Vitamin D intake

Vitamin D is vital in order for us to ensure a normal functioning of the immune system, to promote healthy bones and uptake of calcium, and to improve mood by enhancing the production of serotonin.

Unfortunately our bodies cannot produce Vitamin D by itself; therefore it is essential that we obtain it through our diet and from the sun.

In Summer time many of us are out and about in the sun and have no problem naturally topping up our vitamin D through direct sunlight on our skin. In the colder months however, it’s worth getting your hands on some Vitamin D supplementsas we can’t really get the right amount of vitamin D from our food, and certainly not the sun.

A deficiency in Vitamin D can reduce your immune function and ultimately increase the likelihood of you picking up any infection or virus going around.
It can also cause a lowness in your mood, so those prone to SAD (seasonal affective disorder), this one is a must have!

I would recommend getting your Vitamin D levels checked with your doctor or naturopath first to ensure you are not getting more than you need if you do decide to supplement with high doses.

No. 2 - Get moving!

We have all heard about how exercising releases endorphins, but what does that actually means for you?
Well not only do they trigger positive feelings in the body, but they also help decrease our stress, anxiety and depression levels, boost our self-esteem and general mood, and even reduce our perception of pain.

Getting into a great exercising routine is a fantastic way to help keep your mood up in the months with less daylight.

Now is a great time to take up that yoga class you’ve been thinking about, or grabbing a friend and taking on that Zumba class!

No. 3 - Nature walks

Alternatively, getting yourself moving outside (yes, even its cold!) may further improve your energy levels and decrease feelings of stress and anger to a greater extent than working out inside.

Exercising in Autumn can sometimes feel daunting and totally unappealing, but you don’t always need to make it a hardcore workout session.

Try and get out outside into nature during your week so that you can appreciate what this change of season brings. I’m talking orange, multi-toned leaves, misty landscapes, cinnamon porridge and tasty pumpkins!

Getting yourself into a habit of getting outside can really help improve your mood, as well as helping you from turning into a couch potato as the cold weather creeps in.
But in the end, you don’t have to choose just one. Mixing up indoor and outdoor sessions is a great way to keep exercise exciting and, most importantly, fun!

Some of my favourite places to wander in the Dublin area are Marley Park, Sandyford Mountains, Bray-Greystones cliffwalk, Howth cliff walk, Skerries coastal walk and the Wicklow Mountains.
Have a scout around your area and see where you can have a good ole ramble.

No. 4 - Drink enough water

Drinking enough water applies all year round, but staying hydrated in the colder seasons can often be more of a challenge for some. Drinking hot and warming beverages like hot chocolate, tea and coffee often trumps a glass of water when the air is nippy, but remember, these beverages often contain caffeine which is even further dehydrating for the body.

Instead opt for hydrating beverages like hot water with lemon and warming herbal teas like ginger, tulsi, rooibos or rooibos chai.

Personally I like to keep a bottle of water by my bed so that when I wake up I have already consumed at least 500ml of pure water. And it doesn’t have to be flavourless either. Add in a slice of lemon, cucumber, a leaf of basil or anything else you fancy. So long as it encourages you to drink drink drink!

Not only will drinking enough water help you feel more alert, awake and energised, but it will also benefit your skin (especially if you’re spending more time indoors in heated rooms) and even aid your digestion.

No. 5 - Up your Juice and Smoothie intake

On the subject of hydration, think juices and smoothies.

These babies are a match made in heaven for your immune system. And not only will they help your body fight off any unwanted change of season bugs, but they’ll also help keep your skin glowing, your digestive system happy and your energy levels tip top.

Juices and smoothies are fresh, healthy, visually appealing (most of the time!) and can be combined in endless ways so you’ll always find a combination that you like.

Simply whip out that blender/juicer and get adding these immunity boosting ingredients to keep sickness at bay this autumn:
Ginger, turmeric, carrots, citrus fruits, berries, green leafy veggies, cucumbers, celery, pomegranate, apples, pears and superfoods like camu camu, baobab, spirulina, chlorella, maca and goji berries!

No. 6 - Sneak in some Meditation

Meditation is such a great thing, but the idea of even starting can often stress people out, with thoughts of am I doing it right, how long should I do it and what actually counts as meditation?

Honestly, anything that helps you stop thinking for a while and allows you to tune into your own body for a bit counts as meditation – even if it’s just staring blankly out the window for a few minutes.

Don’t stress yourself out about it. It doesn’t have to be a solid 30 minutes a day. Even just closing your eyes and focusing on your breath for as little as just 5 minutes can help you connect with yourself.

Try it during the day, maybe at work before you head into the door, or take 5 minutes afterwards and zone out, focusing on your breath. You’ll be surprised at how different you can feel afterwards.

Try getting yourself into a nice little morning routine now with 5-15 minutes first thing each morning simply focusing on your breath.
And don’t worry if your mind wanders off. Just bring it back to your breath each time it trails.

No. 7 - Optimise Your Sleep

When we prioritize 7-9 hours of sleep each night we’re healthier, happier, smarter and much more productive!
To tap into some of these amazing qualities and to prevent yourself from falling into a slump, make sure you get into a great sleeping routine now. You know what that means? Bye bye ipads, laptops and bright television screens past 9pm.

The artificial blue light from televisions, computers, mobile phones and tablets suppresses the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, which your body relies on to determine the time of day. This suppression ends up making your body think it’s time to be active, instead of asleep.

See my past blog on Top Tips for Naturally Improving Sleep here.

No. 8 Turmeric lattes, your new best friend!

If you haven’t heard of them, be prepared for an introduction to your new best friend!

Turmeric lattes are a combination of anti-inflammatory spices, often all or a mixture of turmeric, peppercorns, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon mixed with coconut milk/almond milk and honey (or a sweetener of choice)

Turmeric has a warm, slightly spicy, bold, and earthy flavour and contains powerful medicinal properties due to its high amounts of nutrients, antioxidants, anti -inflammatory compounds, and phytonutrients.

Turmeric helps to fight off colds and infections, reduce bad cholesterol, relieve joint pain (perfect for post workout aches and pains) and can even help clear up your skin.

It’s the perfect drink to introduce this autumn as the cold weather creeps in and your crave something warm and comforting.

Here’s a link to 3 different Turmeric Latte options because I love them all!

Nutrition Stripped Turmeric Milk
Nutrition Stripped Turmeric Latte
Rude Health Almond Turmeric Drink

No. 9- Fill up on Nutritional Seasonal Foods

Autumn is one of my favourite seasons for food. There’s simply an abundance of tasty foods for you to choose from, including squashes, pumpkins, parsnips, sweet potatoes, turnips, apples, pears, figs, elderberries and cranberries.

Check out my blogs What’s in Season: Irish Autumn foods ; 4 Belly warming soups to Nourish you this Autumnand 7 Easy and Tasty Pumpkin Recipes to Make This Autumn for some inspiration!

If you have any questions or comments feel free to contact us via our Facebook or Twitter page!

- Emily
Twitter - @nourishstores

*Please note that while we are knowledgeable about our products and nutrition, this blog should never be a substitute for medical advice and attention

Please remember that you should always obtain the all-clear from your doctor before starting any new supplement plan or diet if you're on any medication

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