Time to take out your scarves, sweaters, and beanies! Autumn is here – the season of changing leaves, cool temperatures, and… temptation. With Halloween just around the corner and Thanksgiving quickly approaching, it is tempting to think that small daily decisions regarding food intake and general health practices won’t hurt your body in the long term.

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This autumn, let’s commit to being healthier and practicing better habits for our bodies.

Here are 6 easy ways to get started:

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1. Ramp up your pumpkin intake

With all the popularity of pumpkins for Halloween carvings and Thanksgiving pies, it can be easy to forget how delicious and healthy this squash is to eat. Pumpkin pulp is rich in vitamins A and C while its seeds (known as pepitas) are full of phytosterols (known to help lower cholesterol). Roast up some sliced pumpkin wedges and pepitas for a quick and tasty snack!

 

2. Get that flu shot

Nobody wants to be sick during the holidays, miserable with fever, fatigue, and body aches. Prevent the flu by simply getting a flu vaccine. It should be quick and painless. If you don’t have time to schedule an appointment with your doctor, stop by your local corner drugstore and see if a flu shot is offered.

 

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3. Boost your immune system

Even with that flu shot, you’re not off the hook yet! Prevent the common cold and boost your immune system with water, yogurt (your colon will thank you), garlic, and of course, our favorite autumn squash – pumpkin.

 

 

 

4. Get some fresh air

Just because summer has come and gone doesn’t mean you can’t step outside to enjoy the chill fall air. Go enjoy some sun – bare some skin and increase your vitamin D level.

 

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5. Resist the urge to be a couch potato

Because of the cooler temperatures and reduced daylight hours, levels of physical activity tend to drop during autumn. While you’re outside enjoying some sun, treat your body to a short jog or hike. Look into local sports teams, or simply rake leaves and tend your garden. It doesn’t matter how you move, just get your body moving.

 

 

6. Resist the sweets and junk

With all the candies, desserts, and other delicious treats that make themselves available during family gatherings and autumn festivities, it can be difficult to quit cold turkey. So don’t! Enjoy some chocolate, a slice of pie, and potato chips. But eat in moderation! Do you need that fourth slice of cake? Make it easier to resist by providing (or bringing along) healthy alternatives – a tray of fresh fruits and a platter of veggies will make you less likely to reach for that sugary snack.