When the seasons change and all the leaves start to turn orange, it’s natural to want to wrap up warm and indulge in some self-care. With this in mind, we’ve gathered our best tips for holistically preparing for a healthy autumn.
Nutritional preparation in autumn
As the days get shorter and the weather gets colder, it can be tempting to indulge, particularly over the holiday season. However, it is just as important to make sure you eat well during autumn as during other months. Some things to consider are:
- up your Vitamin D intake. Vitamin D is important for regulating mood and blood pressure and preventing infections1, and during spring and summer, we get most of this vitamin from sunlight. When there is less sun in autumn, it could be helpful to take a supplement2
- avoid caffeinated drinks. It’s tempting to drink lots of coffee since it’s Pumpkin Spiced Latte season, but caffeine has several negative effects on the body. This is particularly true if you experience bladder issues, as the diuretic nature of caffeine and the acidity of coffee can irritate the bladder3. Read our article on coffee and bladder issues if you’d like to know more about caffeine and the bladder.
- keep hydrated. As there is less sun during the autumn months, you might think you need to drink less water. This is, however, untrue, and it’s just as important to hydrate at this time of year.
- avoid too much sugar. You might be tempted to indulge in all the sugary treats that are on offer at this time of year, but too much sugar is very detrimental to your health. It is recommended that adults have no more than 30g of added sugar per day.4
Keeping active in autumn
While you might feel like curling up under a blanket and snuggling up to watch television all day, it is just as important to keep active during the autumn months. It may be too cold to venture outside, but here are some things you could try:
- swap to exercises like yoga and Pilates that you can practice indoors. It is recommended that you do strength bearing exercises twice a week5, and they are also suitable for those experiencing urinary incontinence, as they are low-impact. If you experience leaks during exercise, our range of iD continence products are suitable no matter the time of year.
- dress warmly. If you do exercise outside, don’t forget to wrap up warmly. You might feel hot and bothered, but you can still catch a chill, which isn’t beneficial to your health
- don’t forget your sunscreen. If we’re lucky enough to get an Indian summer, make sure to protect yourself against the sun!
Prepare for flu and cold season
Unfortunately, autumn does bring the start of the flu and cold season, and it’s very important to be prepared for it. In addition to washing your hands regularly and catching any sneezes and coughs in a tissue, remember to book yourself in for the flu and pneumonia vaccine if you are eligible. If you’re unlucky enough to catch a bug, there is unfortunately little evidence that supplements, such as Vitamin C, echinacea, and garlic, actually help ward them off6. Instead, you should
- rest and sleep
- keep warm
- keep hydrated with clear fluids
- gargle saltwater for a sore throat7
Prepare for the holiday season by resting
Autumn is, of course, a busy time of year with the lead up to the holidays, but it is important to make sure you take time to rest properly. Some tips for maintaining good sleep hygiene are:
- a regular bedtime and routine
- a warm bath
- relaxation exercises and CDs
- read a book
- avoid using smartphones, tablets and other screens
- keep the room cool8
If you follow these tips, then you’re sure to be well prepared for the autumn. But, most importantly, make sure you take time for self-care and look after your health!
1 “Vitamin D Deficiency”, Cleveland Clinic, 16 October 2019, Source: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/15050-vitamin-d–vitamin-d-deficiency
2 “Vitamin D”, NHS, 3 August 2020, Source: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-d/
3 “Caffeine: It could be affecting your bladder”, NHS, n.d., Source: https://publicdocuments.sth.nhs.uk/pil2858.pdf
4 “Sugar: the facts”, NHS, 14 July 2020, Source: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/how-does-sugar-in-our-diet-affect-our-health/
5 “Exercise”, NHS, 4 August 2021, Source: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/
6 “Common cold”, NHS, 4 February 2021, Source: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/common-cold/
8 “How to get to sleep”, NHS, 22 July 2019, Source: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sleep-and-tiredness/how-to-get-to-sleep/