Summer may be on the wane but there’s no need to feel down in spirit as the shorter, cooler, autumn days of September start to bite. The secret to keeping that sunshine feeling in body and mind is to subtly tweak your lifestyle to take you gradually into the new season.
There’s no end to the many areas of your life you can work on to boost your energy and your health in the months to come, says Editor Jane Garton.
EAT FOR IMMUNITY
Out go summer salads and in come stews and soups full of vitamin-rich vegetables to help build up your immune system ready for the inevitable slew of winter bugs and flu. Autumn foods are also among the most valuable in terms of nutrition. Think about it – their root systems have had plenty of time during the summer months to amass a wealth of vitamins and minerals.
Go for fresh carrots, parsnips, swedes combined with butternut squash for the perfect light stew, soup or casserole. Follow with a bowl of seasonal fruit such as blackberries, which are rich in immune- boosting antioxidants.
SUPPLEMENT YOUR DIET
However good your diet, sometimes adding in a supplement can make a real difference to your health. Start off with a good multi vitamin and mineral to boost energy and immunity plus a probiotic and good-quality fish oil (which has anti-inflammatory proprieties) to also help balance the immune system.
Dipping in and out of the water by the beach or even sight hopping in European capitals mean most of us take more exercise in summer than at other times of the year and as a result end up fitter. But to get maximum benefit from exercise you need to be on the move all year round. So why not carry on with your newfound fitness?
Autumn weather can be perfect for outdoor exercise – there’s nothing better than cycling down country lanes as the leaves begin to turn and blackberries are showing purple in the hedgerows. Alternatively, go for early evening walks in local parks or even runs and gentle jogs.
Now that most of us are back to work without perhaps a day off in sight, lethargy can soon set in. The answer is to see beyond the sameness of routine.
September is a great time to think about new directions and focus on the changes you really want to make.
Start on just one thing – be it improving your diet or exercise regime, making time to relax, finding new work which is more fulfilling, learning a new skill or dusting off an old passion and starting to write, sing or paint.
6 WAYS TO REV UP FOR AUTUMN
- Step into a shower
Run the hot water first to pep up your circulation before finishing off with an energising sprinkle of cool water.
- Suck on a peppermint
The refreshing aroma stimulates alertness.
- Go walkabout
Too much sitting around makes you sluggish as well as sapping energy – try and go for a walk every day.
- See red
Red is the colour of energy say the colour therapists. Keep something red on your desk or kitchen table to focus on whenever you feel tired.
- Have a screen break
More than half the body’s nerves travel through the eyes, so take five minutes every hour to stare into the middle distance to refresh your eyes and brain.
- Lift your spirits
If you start to suffer from the post-holiday blues, and are feeling pretty low, a supplement such as St Johns wort may help to boost your mood.