The air has a slight chill, it’s raining more than usual and you’ve bought a new stationery set. That can mean only one thing. Autumn is here. Cosy nights in, bonfire parties, red wine, tasty roasts and stews, nordic cardies and flu. Yep, it’s the season of all things scrummy but also the season of of colds, flu, viruses and stomach bugs. So here are ten tips to help you do battle with the nasties and keep you in tip top condition to fully make the most of those autumn days and nights.
Most of us have heard of Echinacea and what we’ve heard is true. It’s brilliant at boosting your immune system, helping with symptoms of colds and flu, and with regular intake, preventing them. You can get it in loose herbal form but it’s much easier and tastier to take as capsules. Make it part of your morning breakfast routine. Echinacea can be found easily at most chemists and health shops.
This is an absolute life saver. I wouldn’t be without it any time of the year and my friends know it’s the first thing I suggest to them when they’re running on empty with busy lives and lacking in energy. I should probably be a sales rep for them. Packed with only natural ingredients, this liquid iron and vitamin remedy is jammed full of herbal extracts, fruit juice concentrates with essential iron,vitamin B2, B6, B12 and C. These goodies all help reduce fatigue and tiredness, not to mention helping massively with that time of the month too. It’s a must have for sufferers of heavy periods. If you add one thing to your shopping list this month make it a bottle of Floradix, you’ll feel the benefits in no time. Most health shops stock Floradix so it’s an easy one to pick up.
Sweet, sticky and super good for your body and immune system, with an added natural sugar fix. Keep a jar of this at home throughout these autumnal months and it can be used for a number of things. A teaspoon a day is great for warding off bacteria owing to it’s anti-bacterial properties, and it’s gentle on sore throats, as well as being fab in a hot toddy. A drizzle on your porridge is a nice way to get the daily benefits of this natural goodness. There are lots to choose from, but the more local and organically produced the better.
Whether you’re using the herb to drink, or as an essential oil diluted with water, Thyme is an excellent herb to have in for warding off coughs, sore throats and bronchitis. Drinking the herb with hot water and lemon makes a huge difference to these common symptoms and lets the anti bacterial properties kick in, as well as being a great source of Vitamin A. If you prefer, burning the essential oil in an oil burner also allows you to inhale the benefits, helping to clear your lungs of mucus. It’s also a mood booster owing to it’s intensity of an active substance called carvacrol, so the scent will send happy fresh vibes around your pad.
No need to train in the rain or freeze on that daily jog: yoga and pilates can be done inside where it’s warm and calm. And it’s amazing for your body and mind. Focusing on three elements – exercise, breathing and meditation – both yoga and pilates improve muscular and postural strength. Go along to a weekly class with a friend and start reaping those benefits. It’s an hour once a week that your body will thank you for in the long term and one you’ll look forward to as a little bit of zen time.
Drinking plenty of water is important for your health and wellbeing, but it’s not so easy to maintain in the colder months when what you really fancy are mostly hot drinks and ones with caffeine in (or chocolate). Try and vary your drinks so they also include hot honey and lemon once a day, herbal teas and your regular glasses of water. Your body will function better in general if you are flushing away those toxins.
Investing in a good body scrub is essential to exfoliating and getting the circulation going around your body in colder weather. Not only will a good body scrub help renew skin cells and slough off dead skin, it will give your body a boost each time you do it, leaving you feeling invigorated and fresh with some pretty smooth and well loved skin. Who cares if it’s hidden under a warm jumper? Scrubbing feels amazing and keeps you looking healthy. To really gain the benefits, use a body scrubbing brush and dry brush your skin before your shower and scrub session. Always brush away from the heart. My absolute fave is Neal’s Yard Remedies Geranium and Orange Body Scrub, for dry or dull skin, with gorgeous essential oils. My skin smells beautiful afterwards and it feels like I’ve had a spa treatment every time. Beautiful. All natural ingredients and I never need to moisturise after as the oils do that for me.
Burning essential oils is a great way to relax and indulge in the benefits they carry. My favourite autumnal oils are Frankincense, Orange, Rose, Thyme and Cinnamon, for delicious scents and healthy living. Incense is also a lovely way to wind down after a cold and gruelling day. Quick, simple daily actions that will make you smile, feel good and leave your home smelling sweet.
The easiest way to get all the good and tasty stuff into you is with a good old chunky, hearty soup stuffed with winter veg. Spice it up and add pumpkin, mushroom, garlic cloves, butternut squash, parsnips, red onions, loads of fresh herbs and your fave lean meat. Making up batches of different soups and leaving them to stew in a slow cooker makes it easy to enjoy a hearty and healthy lunch or dinner. Warming you up and filling you up. And with your dose of daily veggies made easy with minimum effort.
Make this Autumn your best one yet! Do you have any tips for making the most of the colder weather?
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