Six Tips to Keep You Healthy this Fall

Do you know how to take the best care of yourself and your family this time of year? From flu season and fall allergies to dry skin woes, here are a few things you need to know in order to enjoy autumn without worry.

  1. Flu Prevention

In the U.S., fall is the start of flu season, and influenza can be unpredictable and serious, even if you’re healthy. Using data available from early October 2021 through mid-June 2022, CDC estimated that influenza virus infection resulted in 8-13 million symptomatic illnesses, 3.7-6.1 million medical visits, 82,000-170,000 hospitalizations, and 5000-14,000 deaths.  Vaccination may be the right choice for you and your loved ones. A 2022 study showed that flu vaccination reduced children’s risk of severe life-threatening influenza by 75%. There are nine different flu vaccines available for the 2022–2023 flu season. All of them protect against the same four strains of flu.

  1. Covid 19 

Doctors and scientists expect another surge in COVID-19 cases this fall and winter, so don’t let up on your awareness or your precautions. Make sure to avoid or limit exposure to large crowds of people and those who are sick with the illness. Make handwashing a priority, washing for at least 20-30 seconds. Talk with your doctor to discuss whether a vaccine is appropriate for you.

  1. Lawn Maintenance 

Those changing leaves make for a beautiful landscape lawn. Before you tackle tree debris, make sure you know how to rake leaves without hurting your back (including stretching beforehand!). In the US 76,000 people are injured every year while raking leaves or using manual garden tools related to this activity. Many of these injuries include back strains or wrist strains due to the repetitive movements of raking. Yardwork can also strain your heart and increase your risk of heart attack, so pace yourself and learn to listen to your body. “Particularly if leaves are wet, they can actually be very heavy, making raking leaves as physically rigorous in some cases as shoveling snow,” cardiologist Nicholas Ruthmann, MD says. Already have a sore back? Shop our Hot and Cold Therapies here:

  1. Fall Allergies

As beautiful as fall can be, it can also be agonizing for the estimated 15% to 30% of Americans prone to seasonal allergies. The most common culprit for fall allergies is ragweed, a plant that grows wild almost everywhere, but especially on the East Coast and in the Midwest. Ragweed blooms and releases pollen from August to November. Discuss prevention and treatment options with your doctor if your symptoms seem unmanageable. Need allergy medications? Check our selection here:

  1.  Depression

As the days get shorter, there’s less sunlight to enjoy. And less sunlight can lead to seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression triggered by the change of seasons. A drop in serotonin, a brain chemical (neurotransmitter) that affects mood, might play a role in seasonal depression. Symptoms include feelings of sadness, lack of energy, loss of interest in usual activities, oversleeping, and weight gain. Light therapy is one of the first-line treatments for fall-onset SAD. It generally starts working in a few days to a few weeks and causes very few side effects. 

  1. Dry Air

Cold air is dry because it holds less moisture than warm air, and breathing cold, dry air can cause respiratory ailments like asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, and nosebleeds. The ideal humidity level for a home is between 30 and 50 percent. With proper home air humidity, you’ll suffer fewer bouts of colds, flu, and viruses in general. Your skin will also be properly hydrated, resulting in less dry, cracked skin and the issues that can result.