While many welcome the change from summer to fall—bringing with it a kaleidoscope of reds, oranges, and yellows, plus football games and tailgate parties—it also ushers in pesky colds and allergies as we prep for winter. How best to stay in fighting shape this fall? Here are seven ways to super-charge your immune system.
Hydration. Sure, it sounds like a no-brainer. Yet according to MadeFor—a 10-month wellness program started by TOMS Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie and navy seal Pat Dossett—one of the simplest and most important tools to wellness is hydration. Most of us are walking around dehydrated, so keep that favorite water bottle replenished. Health experts recommend an average of eight, eight-ounce glasses of water per day.
Sleep. Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post who also launched Thrive Global, feels sleep is so critical she inked a whole book on it titled The Sleep Revolution. After having a nervous breakdown as a fast-paced CEO, her a-ha moment led to napping pods at the office and discrediting “busy-ness” as a badge of honor. That common saying—“I’ll sleep when I die?” No longer cool. Be proud of making time for ‘zzzzs. It’s crucial to optimal wellbeing.
Plant-Based Plates. We could all use more plant-based fuel in our diets. If fruits and veggies aren’t part of your default meal plan, try a service like Daily Harvest, which delivers yummy and organic plant-based meals and smoothies right to your front door. Alternatively, add leafy greens like kale or spinach (or plant-based protein powder) to your pre-workout smoothie routine.
Adaptogens. Lion’s Mane. Turmeric. Ashwagandha. Reishi. Ginseng. Super-charged adaptogens are the latest health trend, and for good reason. Why? These plants and herbs naturally strengthen our adrenals and combat stress. Experts say the effects of adaptogens increase over time, which is why so many adaptogen mocktails and coffee powders have recently launched. Check out Moon Juice, Clevr Blends, and MUD/WTR—all anchored in the power of herbs. (Learn more about adaptogens from TIME and Forbes.)
Head Space. One of the easiest yet most rewarding ways to stay healthy this fall? Meditate. We’ve all been bombarded with the benefits of meditation because it’s truly transformative. But meditation doesn’t mean you need to sit on a mat for an hour or climb to the top of a mountain to get zen. Just ten minutes of daily guided or non-guided meditation can seriously calm your nervous system. Need a little reminder? Try the Head Space or Waking Up apps—guided meditations to help you remain calm amidst chaotic times.
Moderation. We all overdo it sometimes, whether it be exercising, fall shopping, or imbibing on cocktails. The change of season is an ideal opportunity to reset and re-evaluate your relationship to alcohol. Whether it’s a short break or the month-long Sober October (a growing movement), take time to allow the liver to reset and recharge so you can charge into the holidays balanced and blissful. Need support? Apps like the Cutback Coach are relatively cheap and easy to navigate.
Move! If you’re reading this, we already know you value exercise. At VASA Fitness, we believe movement in any form is key to a vibrant, fun, and fulfilling life. This fall, take your walk or run outside, try that new group fitness or STUDIO RED class you’ve been thinking about, or make time to work one-on-one with a personal trainer.
Your improved immune system will keep you healthy this fall so you can continue improving your physical strength and mental fitness, too.
Written by Erin Lentz