Optimise your health this autumn
WITH DR CAROLINE TAYLOR-WALKER
With the transition from summer to autumn (my favourite season) in full swing, now serves as a wonderful opportunity to check in on your health and optimise it for winter.
Here are my top five tips for preparing your body for the colder, darker days to come while the skies are still blue:
1 .Strengthen your mind
The mind is so important in health outcomes. A strong mind can overcome many illnesses. Fill your mind with sunshine and peace. We live in such wonderful surroundings. Get out, touch nature, stroll barefooted along the beach, walk in the bush, and fill your lungs with fresh air. Let your skin soak in some vitamin D and practice some mindfulness or laugh loudly with loved ones.
2. Look after your gut
Our gut is our immune system and our brain. Nurturing it is key to better immunity. Eat clean, non-processed foods, plenty of colourful fruit and vegetables, increase fibre and reduce your sugar intake. You will also benefit from more energy, and reduce your risk of catching chronic diseases.
3. Make sure you catch those zzzs
Seven to eight hours of sleep a night is essential for total body wellness and protection against heart disease, diabetes, stroke and obesity. In preparation for winter it boosts your mood, immunity, memory and performance. Did you also know sleep could increase protection given by the flu vaccine?
4. Reduce toxins
We all love a little party but exposure to too many toxins can reduce immunity, gut health, sleep and increase body stress and inflammation. Consider reviewing how much alcohol you drink, think about quitting smoking and try to reduce your exposure to household chemicals. The less inflammation the body is exposed to, the stronger it will become.
5. Get moving
There is an abundance of research promoting the benefits of exercise. Use the last of the sunny days to increase your heart rate during the activity you enjoy for about 30 minutes a day.
Dr Taylor-Walker is the practice founder and principal GP at Surf Coast Home Doctor.