Get Fit and Healthy in Fall
Fall into health with these great seasonal food and fitness ideas.
'Time of Renewal'
6. Teach better eating habits. "Fall is a time to
restart, a time of renewal, a time of year to dig back into projects," says
"One of those might be working with your kids to have healthier eating
habits," she says. That may mean working directly with the schools to have
healthier lunch options, or changing what you put in lunch boxes. Instead of
stuffing your child's lunch box with the usual packaged and processed
convenience foods, says Lanou, make an effort to get the kids involved and
create more healthful midday meals. Try slicing apples and putting in a small
container of peanut butter for dipping or making hummus dip and putting it in
"Find things that work for your child," she says, "Engage them
in the process, so they are agreeing to do this with you.
7. Take charge of medical health. Physician, author, and
patient empowerment expert Marie Savard, MD, says fall is the time to get a
handle on your personal health care, past and present. "Just as we keep
track of our car maintenance records and our financial records," says
Savard, "we need to keep track of our health records."
Keep track of your list of medical problems and an updated list of your
medications and how you are taking them. Make sure that you have the names and
numbers of all doctors who are current providers. If you change to a different
primary care provider, make sure that a copy of your records is sent to your
new primary care provider.
"We see multiple doctors and specialists [throughout our lives],"
she says. "No one doctor today has cradle-to-grave medical
Next, take charge of your own personal health, including getting a physical,
gynecological exam (for women), and up-to-date immunizations, including a flu
"Protection from the flu is well worth the inconvenience, minor cost,
and pain in the arm," Savard says.
For college freshmen, Savard recommends the meningococcal vaccine to protect
against bacterial meningitis, the highest incidents
of which are found among college freshman living in dormitories.
Savard also recommends having a health buddy. Just as a workout partner
keeps you more consistent with exercise, a health buddy will offer you
encouragement to schedule medical checkups, quit smoking,
or get more rest.
8. Combat allergies. If you are prone to allergies, make an
appointment to see your allergist. Be prepared for the onset of ragweed season,
if that's what plagues you.
"Start preventatively," says Savard. "Don't wait until you're in
the throes of your symptoms to address the problem. We are closing doors and
starting to spend more time indoors," Savard continues. "This is the
time we begin passing cold viruses back and forth. Be more vigilant about hand