Shifting seasons call for shifting habits
With summer in the rear-view mirror, the air is crisp and sweater season is finally upon us. While new fall accessories may keep you looking trendy on the outside, now is a good time to check in and see how you’re feeling on the inside – which is largely due in part to the current shift in weather.
Whether you’re walking to the car, raking leaves or at home feeling that extra chill, your body is doing its best to counteract the cold. Just as we add layers when the temperature drops, our bodies need to undergo certain mechanisms to stay in homeostasis by increasing hormones to generate heat, specifically cortisol and adrenaline, or bringing more blood to muscles to help with heat production.
While these are just a few ways our body naturally works to keep systems at proper temperatures, there are habits you can build into your lifestyle during this colder time of year to help.
Eat grounding foods
Summer is more light and airy, so to help with the transition, it’s important to eat foods from our local fall harvest. Carrots, celery root, butternut squash, pumpkin, potatoes, rutabaga and parsnips – all of these foods are root vegetables, which mean they grow underground and absorb many nutrients from the soil, for an added benefit. And because it’s cooler outside, many root vegetables need to be cooked or warmed, which can help you digest foods easier, as your body needs to use less energy to break them down.
It’s always a good idea to supplement your health with natural health products (NHPs) to support your body when needed, especially through the change in weather. Our immune system can tend to take the burden during this time of year, so adding in antioxidants can be a great upkeep – especially vitamin C. Along with its many health benefits, vitamin C is water-soluble, which means that the body uses it as needed and then excretes any excess through urine. It can be a great option to detoxify and cleanse harmful substances, while protecting against any incoming viruses you may come across.
Get in exercise
We all know that when we work up a sweat, our body tends to become much warmer. Finding an exercise routine that you enjoy, whether it’s going for a run in the fresh air, hitting the gym, a yoga class or walking with a friend around your neighbourhood, gets the body moving to help warm up your body with ease.
Add warming spices to your meals
While on your next grocery shop, be sure to add spices to your list of aisles to visit. On top of the many nutritional benefits these spices offer, naturally warming for the body, cinnamon, cayenne, ginger, black pepper, when consumed, feel like a hug for the body, and especially during snowy-filled months when it feels like you can’t escape that chill. Turmeric can help with inflammation if temperature change puts a further stress on the body. Depending on your preference, you can find it in its root form or ground to sprinkle in your recipes.
Sit and be still
Summer is the season of socializing; we feel energized, flowers are in bloom and leaves are green and full of life. As we shift into fall, our natural inclinations are to slow down, retreat and focus inward. Conserving energy for the things you value most and taking the time to sit and listen to your body can provide wonderful benefits for ensuring your energy is being used where needed. Consider carving out a weekly routine or daily ritual that can help you tap into still and quiet for constructive reflection.
You can find natural health products and organic foods at your nearest CHFA member store. Click here to find the retailer closest to you.