Summer is over and the chill in the air has started to return. The cooling temperatures bring us football and the beauty of leaves changing. This is a nice relief from the heat of summer but it also brings about cold and flu season and as it gets colder and colder people tend to get less active. I have put together some tips to help you enjoy a healthy fall.

Get the flu shot

This is particularly important if you have risk factors that can cause you to get the flu more easily like being a current or former smoker, elderly, or if you have chronic disease. If you can prevent yourself from becoming sick by simply getting a shot, then why not?

Don’t spread the cold

There are steps you can take to prevent getting and spreading the cold. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, get plenty of rest, eat a diet high in vitamins and minerals, and wash your hands regularly.

Stay active

The beautiful fall weather provides a great opportunity to get outside and get some exercise. Not to mention the beautiful scenery of the leaves changing that you will encounter on your walk or jog.

Make healthy choices at parties

I love a good football party and gameday snacks. What we choose to eat at these parties however aren’t always the best choices. Reach for the veggie tray and light beer rather than the fried food and heavy drink options.

Enjoy the seasonal veggies

There are many late season veggies that are loaded with vitamins and minerals. Foods like beats, brussels sprouts, carrots, and broccoli can help give you the vitamins you need to starve off illness. Let’s not forget about the pumpkin which is loaded with vitamins A and C. The flesh of the pumpkin can be roasted, mashed, or used for soups or baking. Its seeds can also be baked for a delicious and healthy snack.

Dress properly

Pay attention to the weather so that you and your children can be dressed to protect yourselves from the dropping temperature. Exposure to cold temperature can cause health problems, especially in infants and the elderly.

Get out and enjoy the fall weather and parties with friends. While you are doing so think about your health and the choices you make. You just might make your fall even more enjoyable than it already is! 

Tyler Glidden is the wellness director for the McPherson Family YMCA.