by ROBIN ROBERTSON, M.D.; Scripps Coastal Medical Center, Carlsbad

Staying Healthy This Fall

scripps_robertsonDon’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, decrease stress, 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, cook up some new recipes, learn a language, or even rediscover an old hobby that is challenging and enjoyable, such as building model airplanes or sketching. To help manage stress and relieve daily anxiety, try a meditation class. There are many ways to meditate, so you may want to experiment with different methods.

Avoid unconscious 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, when you cough or sneeze, 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. To avoid the fall 15, 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 don’t overindulge 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 like a do-it-yourself vaccine and 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.

Robin Robertson, M.D., is a family medicine physician at Scripps Coastal Medical Center in Carlsbad. Dr. Robertson enjoys building a relationship with whole families – treating newborns to grandparents. She has expertise in pediatric and adolescent medicine, and women’s health issues. When not seeing patients, Dr. Robertson surfs, snowboards, plays tennis, and travels.

scripps02Looking for a new doctor? To find a Scripps physician near you, call 760-292-2702 or visit