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7 Healthy Habits To Start This Fall

7 Healthy Habits To Start This Fall

Fall is here with all its glorious colors, mellow mid-day sunshine and earlier sunsets.  This is the time of the year when cooler weather brings with it anticipation of the coming holiday season, as well as a sense of renewal.  This is the time of the year when children return to school, summer vacations are over, and our home life is energized.

We may not always appreciate the cooler weather, but we love the warm soups, seasonal vegetables, pumpkin-spiced everything, and warm cider.  We enjoy the warmth of the fireplace, the crunch of autumn leaves underfoot, and the renewed energy for outdoor activities.

Fall is also a great time for us to take stock of where we are at and where we are going: what our families and we have been through in the last year as well as the memories we have made together.  This is the time of the year to renew our efforts to develop healthy habits. As the old saying goes:  “thirty days to develop a habit; thirty more and it becomes automatic”.

Try out these 7 essential health habits for fall:

1. Eat Seasonal Food
Seasonal Food
Eating seasonally is incredibly beneficial to your health because seasonal foods provide the best nutrients for that specific time of the year. Fall and winter vegetables have nutrients that support our immunity for cold and flu season.

Seasonal foods available depend on where you live, but these are at the top of the list:

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Winter Squashes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Celery Root
  • Beets
  • Rutabaga
  • Parsnips
  • Kale
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Apples
  • Pears


2. Get Enough Quality Sleep

Sleep
It really does matter whether we are getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep per night. Getting enough quality sleep aids in both mental and physical health. Sleep is key to healthy brain function: affecting how well we learn, work, think, react and get along with others. An ongoing sleep deficiency raises the risk for chronic health problems.  Sleep is restorative and a cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle.


It is also important that we “rise and shine” at the same time every day. As the sun goes down earlier, it can throw off your natural circadian rhythm. Try to maintain a sleep schedule of at least seven hours and keep your normal bedtime and waking hours the same as the rest of the year.

3. Stop Using Screens An Hour Before Bedtime

No Screens
Power down your phone, iPad, and laptop before you are actively trying to fall asleep. The bright light and movement of your digital electronics actually can suppress your internal clock, making it harder for you to fall asleep.  Knowing this, make it a goal to read, meditate, write and relax, before your head hits the pillow. Give your eyes and body the break it needs from constantly staring at a screen.


4. Spend Time Outdoors

Outdoor Time
Now that the cooler weather is here, there’s no better time to enjoy the outdoors. Take in the beauty of the changing leaves, the crisp air, and the sounds of nature. A walk outdoors can boost your mood and creativity.  The CDC reports that not only is spending time outdoors good for your overall health and wellness, but it can also boost your well-being, helping you naturally manage anxiety and stress. In addition, it allows you to obtain natural Vitamin D.


5. Manage Your Stress

Stress Management
You cannot eliminate stress; the best thing you can do is to learn how to manage your stress.  This can be achieved by identifying your stressor and getting to the root of it.  Figure out what drains you, and what gives you energy.   Sometimes the best way to manage stress is simply by saying ‘no”.   Fall is a great time to work toward creating more personal time and evaluating your needs.  Think about what is causing you to feel stressed and address the triggers.


6. Stay Hydrated

Hyrdation
When the sun is hot and your body is craving to stay hydrated, it is easy to hit your daily water intake. However, we need to stay just as hydrated in the Fall and Winter seasons.As it gets colder, your body can lose just as much fluid as it might in hot climates due to the high rates of energy used. Thanks to heavier clothing, you may even sweat more. An appropriate water intake will also keep your skin supple, which can be a problem as the weather gets drier.  Strive to meet the recommended water intake of eight glasses each day.

7. Manage Your Pain

Review
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