The crisp fall season has arrived at long last, and with it comes changing weather and, inevitably, health and productivity habits. Even though most people enjoy all that the fall season has to offer, it can be easy to get into a slump before winter arrives due to the lack of daylight. But we’re here to help you stay focused, healthy, and productive all season long. Here are just a few basic ways you can prioritize both your health and productivity during the fall season.
Stay Hydrated (With the Right Beverages)
About 54% of Americans over age 18 drink coffee every day, and while coffee is certainly fine in moderation, it should never be the only beverage you’re drinking throughout the day. Switch off between drinking water and coffee throughout the day, and for best sleep quality, cut off your caffeine consumption by around 2 p.m. in the afternoon.
Similarly, proceed with caution when it comes to energy drinks. Sure, they can provide an extra boost, but they’re almost universally bad for your health. In fact, researchers found that exposure to energy drinks such as Rockstar, Monster®, and Red Bull® resulted in twice as much enamel loss as exposure to sports drinks such as Powerade®, Gatorade®, and Propel® (3.1% to 1.5%). If you need rehydrating after a workout, opt for water. You’ll avoid the unhealthy sugar content and the inevitable crash that’s to come a few hours later.
One final note: if you’re having trouble drinking enough water throughout the day, try to start a habit of drinking it in the morning. For example, fill up a reusable water bottle before bed and try to drink the whole thing before you even get out of bed the next morning.
“Make drinking water a part of your morning routine. Water helps flush out toxins, aids digestion, transports nutrients, maintains your body temperature, helps with weight loss, improves your skin, and a whole lot more,” Lindsey Bristol, registered dietitian nutritionist with Swanson Health, recently told Reader’s Digest.
Spend Time Outdoors (When Possible)
Sure, the weather may be getting cooler, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the sunny days that lie ahead. In a study of more than 1,000 professionals, 65% said that they allow employees to work remotely, but regardless of your work style, soaking up some extra sunshine during the day will always be conducive to overall wellbeing and productivity. If you can’t make it outside, try to sit near a sunny window and see how your mood improves.
Get a Flu Shot
The typical flu season starts in October and ends in May, but 20% of Americans will come down with it each year. The Urgent Care Association of America’s 2016 Benchmarking Report found that the most common illnesses diagnosed at urgent care centers in 2015 were acute upper respiratory infection, acute sinusitis, acute pharyngitis, hoarseness, asthma, or cough, and acute bronchitis. But since the flu virus changes every year, it can be even harder to control. Protect yourself by getting a flu shot as soon as possible — ideally, before Halloween.
“Influenza is a highly contagious and debilitating respiratory infection that can cause serious complications, hospitalizations, and, in some cases, even lead to death, said Margaret Khoury, MD. “Getting your annual flu shot can lower your risk of catching the flu, developing flu-related complications, and missed school or work days due to illness.”
While there’s much more to staying healthy and productive throughout the season, these tips are easy enough to incorporate into your lifestyle and can help pave the way toward overall well-being.