Changing of leaves, dropping temperatures, open windows, pumpkin flavored everything: the imagery associated with fall is iconic. We find new ways to create happiness within our lives as the season begins to change. Whether it be snuggles with a comfy blanket, coming together with the ones you love or walks in breezy weather, a happy life is a healthy life. Find what makes you happy this season.
INCREASE OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
Your windows beg to be open after you take a few deep breaths of crisp, clean fall air. While Florida’s seasonal weather is limited, no one can deny the difference between the still, dryness of summer and the breezy, lightness of fall. Alexander Vanderby, MD, Tallahassee Memorial Family Medicine Residency Program, says the health benefits associated with exercising outdoors and enjoying cooler weather are undeniable, “There is growing evidence that moderate amounts of exercise can decrease the risk of upper espiratory tract infections given the modification to the immune system.” There are many ways to get you and your family outdoors this fall:
- Join a sports league.
- Have a picnic.
- Visit one of over 75 parks and trails Tallahassee offers.
- Take walks after dinner.
- Visit area festivals and fairs.
The sight of pumpkins is a clear sign that fall is present. While they can be an adorable carving craft for the whole family, pumpkins are also used for their flavor and nutrition. While we can’t tell you that drinking a pumpkin spice latte everyday will improve your health, your family should take advantage of seasonal fruits and vegetables. Tallahassee Memorial Community Dietitian Afaf Qasem, MS, RDN, LDN, encourages people to take advantage of the seasonal foods, “Eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables will provide you with essential vitamins and minerals. For example, a one cup serving of pumpkin is considered a rich source of vitamin A which helps promote healthy vision, skin integrity and a strong immune system.”
GATHER WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY
There is no doubt that Tallahassee is a football town. Regardless of what team you support, it is guaranteed you can find a fellow fan cheering on your team come Saturdays. Football season gives fans a reason to celebrate, but more importantly it gives friends and family a reason to come together. Being surrounded by the ones you love elevates your mood and allows those involved to feel a sense of community. Melvina MacDonald, LMHC, CEAP, Director of the Tallahassee Memorial Employee Assistance Program says, “Having positive, supportive friends and family is a critical component to people’s mental health and personal resiliency. Even the companionship of a pet has been known to stimulate brain chemistry that is associated to positive emotions.”
SIP ON HOT DRINKS
Maybe it’s a habit to sip on coffee or tea to keep the caffeine buzz going at work. However, the changing of seasons allows us to feel a little less guilty and a little more comfortable with drinking hot drinks. Expert dietitians at Tallahassee Memorial explain, “Enjoying a cup of hot tea is not only relaxing, but a great way to get in some antioxidants that may help improve your health and prevent disease.” While the coziness alone makes hot drinks the perfect pair with sweater weather, the health benefits associated are worth it.