by CHRISTEN BENKE, D.O.; Scripps Clinic, Del Mar

Staying Healthy This Fall

ad_scripps_christenDon’t put your well-being on the back burner as the days get shorter and the temperature cooler. Stay motivated and heathy this autumn by making the most of the season.

Keep your mind sharp and maintain your mental health. Learning new skills can positively affect well-being, so sign up for that course you’ve been meaning to take, try new recipes, learn a language, or even rediscover an old hobby that is challenging and enjoyable, such as building model airplanes or sketching.

Avoid unconscious eating. Watching football and the new TV fall lineup can distract you from how much you’re eating. Pre-measure exactly what you want to eat in the kitchen before settling on the couch – and enjoy the bounty of fall. Apples, pears, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and pumpkin are low in calories and loaded with nutrients.

Get your flu shot. Flu season can start as early as October, so protect yourself and your family by getting vaccinated. In addition, cough or sneeze into your elbow to cover your mouth and nose, and stay home if you are sick. Check with your doctor’s office for a flu clinic near you.

Tailgate Lite. Football season can add pounds fast. Switch out those burgers and chicken wings for grilled kabobs with veggies, fruits and lean meat. Try seafood, salsa, wraps, and stews as well, and avoid overindulging in alcohol. Enjoy your favorite brew, but trade it in for less caloric beverages as the game continues.

Keep moving. With fewer outdoor options for physical activities in the evening, make adjustments to ensure you keep moving. Join a gym or a fall sports league, plan evening walks at the mall or become an early riser. Take advantage of fun outdoor activities while the sun is out. Try apple picking, chasing your kids around the corn maze, or cleaning up the yard.

Wash your hands. Make sure your family knows the importance of washing their hands. It’s one of the best things we can do to keep from getting sick and spreading germs to others.

Take charge of your medical health. Fall is a good time to get a handle on your personal health care. Keep track of any medical issues, and if you want to change your doctor now is the time. Schedule your annual physical if needed – and wellness visits for your family.

Christen Benke, D.O., is a family medicine physician at Scripps Clinic, Del Mar. As an osteopathic doctor, Dr. Benke emphasizes the whole person and incorporates a gentle practice style. Fluent in Spanish and French, Dr. Benke provides a full spectrum of primary care services, including minor office procedures, allergy testing, gynecology services, and osteopathic manipulation. 

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