Westside Eagle-Observer

Bye, bye summer. Hello, fall, cooler temps


There’s a lot to look forward to this autumn — cooler temperatur­es, touchdown celebratio­ns, pumpkins, apple cider and a turkey with all the trimmings. It’s also the perfect time to fall into healthy routines so you can enjoy every moment of the season.

Put down the remote and get outside

Football is back. Some of your favorite TV shows are returning or dropping binge-worthy new seasons. With new choices available, it can be tempting to cuddle up and become a couch potato.

However, the changing season is a great time to go outside and move your body.

A brisk walk outside four or more days a week can lower your blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and even improve concentrat­ion. So this fall, make a move — get up, get out and get going.

Plan some family activities

Fall is a great season for spending time with the ones you love. If outdoor adventure is your thing, consider a family bike ride, a new hiking trail or a trip to the pumpkin patch. On rainy days and cooler evenings, cook a meal together, bake a scrumptiou­s pie, huddle up around a board game or snuggle up and tell some stories.

Quality family time improves emotional and physical health. And, for the kids, time together can create a sense of belonging and well-being that carries them through the times you can’t be together. Some studies even suggest it can help improve their grades.

Eat fresh vegetables

An abundance of fresh produce is available this fall, and it’s all packed with vitamins and other health benefits. So, add vegetables to your soups and stews. Or try something new with quick, easy recipes you can find online. Some suggestion­s include:

• Try root vegetables like carrots, turnips, and beets and roast them with olive oil, salt and pepper, and rosemary or thyme.

• Add a drizzle of maple syrup to oven-baked butternut squash.

• Use garlic, parmesan and balsamic glaze to finish off sautéed Brussels sprouts.

• Spice up sweet potatoes in a mix of chili powder, cayenne pepper, onion powder and brown sugar.

Overcome autumn fatigue

As days get shorter, some people begin to feel tired and sluggish in the fall, and that feeling can continue all the way through winter. Here’s why: Light impacts the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that helps you sleep, from the pineal gland.

When there is less daylight, the body produces more melatonin, which can make you feel sleepy. To help overcome autumn fatigue, spend at least 30 minutes outside during the day. Daylight is more intense than other forms of light and can help promote wakefulnes­s.

Get your flu vaccine

The one thing you won’t look forward to this fall is spending a week in bed with fever, chills, body aches, a cough and other flu symptoms. And, in some cases, the flu can be even worse.

The best way to protect against the flu is to get a flu vaccine. The flu vaccine is available as a shot or in a nasal mist form for children and some adults. Flu vaccines are recommende­d for everyone 6 months and older — so sign up the whole family.

If you’re looking for a family medicine provider, Dr. Zachary Crossett is accepting new patients at Siloam Springs Family Medicine. To schedule an appointmen­t, call 479-2153035 today.

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