Don’t Fall out of Health: 5 of the Worst Autumn Health Habits – How to Avoid them
Take out your fuzzy blankets, stock up on tea options and get ready to binge-watch Netflix. Fall is upon us. As the seasons change, our eating, sleeping and exercise habits are affected. This year, avoid the pitfalls with the following tips. Skipping Breakfast Skipping breakfast is especially common in the cooler months when staying in bed longer is so inviting. Plus, with busier schedules, it’s easy to run out the door and forget about the most important meal of the day. If you don’t already know, skipping breakfast is linked to obesity, weight gain, high cholesterol, diabetes and increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Most of us crave warming breakfasts so don’t count on smoothies to get you through this season. Instead opt for hearty oatmeal or a veggie-packed frittata, batch-make and reheat on-the-go. Oversleeping While it may sound tempting, resist the urge. Oversleeping, especially on the weekends, wreaks havoc on your sleep cycle and can have serious long-term health risks. Researchers have found that oversleeping puts you at greater risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes and mental illness. As well as frequent headaches, linked to the effects of sleep on certain neurotransmitters in the brain. Rather than yoyo-ing your sleeping habits, get to bed at the same time every night and sleep seven to nine hours regularly. This includes maintaining the same sleeping patterns on the weekends. Too Much Screen Time More time indoors means more time in front of TVs, computers, tablets and smart phones. The dangers of excessive use of electronics range from affected sleep to brain shrinkage, resulting in poorer cognitive performance and increased cravings, weight gain, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Additionally, new research is revealing the detrimental effects on emotional development. Face-to-face interactions are replaced with simulated emotional connections online, effecting our ability to process emotions properly. Rather than relying on screens for stimulation, spend time with friends and family playing board games, doing craft projects and reading, to unwind after a long day. Beat The Winter Blues Speaking of emotions, a decrease in daylight can put a damper on one’s life satisfaction with grave repercussions like increased cravings, weight gain, withdrawal from friends, family and social activities and even depression. To combat this, bring a little summer into the cooler months. Visit an indoor water park or your local community pool, try indoor tennis or rock climbing. Spending time in large, open spaces combined with social interactions and exercise is the best way to increase your endorphins and keep you happy all season long. Not Drinking Enough Water While it may not be as obvious, you still perspire when it’s cool out and your dry skin needs extra moisture. Additionally, your body requires water to fight cold symptoms like fevers and stuffy noses as water helps to thin out mucous blocking nasal passages. Easily track how much water you’re drinking by filling a 2L jug in the morning and using it to refill your glass. Herbal teas are also a great way to stay hydrated. While fall symbolizes a change in our environment and our bodies, this year, be sure to approach the new season with a little more awareness of your habits. Opt for wholesome alternatives and you’ll feel lighter, happier and healthier.