Health Talk
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7 Fall Steps for Healthy Living

FallOutdoorStretchAs the days get shorter and the temperatures drop, change is in the air. It’s the perfect time to fine tune your health.  By making just one or two small changes, you’ll soon see results.

These easy health-boosting tips are sure to give you a fresh start this fall:

  1.  Stay Calm and Visit with Friends – After a summer where we all return from different vacation trips, fall is a great time to coordinate schedules again and set up time to meet with friends. Stress can melt away the moment you make contact, in person or by phone, with someone you care about, or someone you haven’t talked to in a while. The positive emotions make you feel good, and the power of listening to one another broadens our perspective on life and our own challenges.
  2. Embrace New Food Guidelines – Turn over a new leaf by following the recommendation that ½ your dinner plate should be vegetables, ¼ carbs and ¼ meat. If you focus on making most of your meals look this way, you’ll automatically be following sound nutrition guidelines and choosing appropriate portions–without having to pull out a nutrition guide or a measuring cup every time.
  3. Get Creative With Fitness – Improve your fitness this fall by picking activities you know you’ll continue to enjoy after the first few days! What do you like doing best? Consider a daily walk, or taking a class in boxing, dancing, yoga or Tai Chi. Perhaps this is the fall that you invest in a Fitbit and start counting your steps!
  4. Health Check Ups – Now is a good time to schedule some of those important medical tests intended to prevent issues before they happen. This includes scheduling an appointment to get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked, and to see if your blood glucose levels are healthy. Book that mammogram and for men of a certain age, have your prostate checked. Add a visit to an eye doctor and dentist.
  5. Respect Sleep – Resist trying to get more done than you can into one day. Sleep is how our bodies regenerate and sleep is known to lower stress.  Know how many hours of sleep work for you and schedule sleep when you need it. At night, avoid bright light within two to three hours of bedtime because it might delay your sleep onset. Turn off electronic devices and make sure the room is dark and cool. In the morning, get outside within 5 minutes of getting up and expose yourself to bright light for 30 minutes.
  6. Love Those Beans – Nutritionists recommend that you do one thing to improve your diet this fall, eat 3 cups of beans each week. Besides being a comfort food, beans add flavour and texture to your meals, whether they are in soup, chili, or casseroles. Pick any bean and enjoy – lima, black, garbanzo, pinto, etc.
  7. Stay Positive and Remember to Smile – Focus on the good that happens each day rather than the challenges and frustrations. Find ways to forgive and let go. The more you smile, the more effective you are at breaking the brain’s natural tendency to think negatively.