As summer winds down, how are you preparing your health for the Autumn months ahead?
While we tend to create weight loss, organization, and health goals for the new year, and spring-clean our homes and routines in March…It is important to know that Fall is one of the BEST times to ritually cleanse yourself from non-beneficial lifestyle choices. Before the cold weather, holidays, and cold season…NOW is the time you want to acknowledge when you and your body are stressed and in need of care.
Through my three-part Autumnal Cleanse, you will discover how to successfully form good habits, nourish your body and provide self care and love. Because your immune system works as a basis of support for your overall wellness, choosing a healthy lifestyle is vital. Your immune system and every part of your body function better when strengthened by healthy-living strategies.
With the onset of shorter days, recent studies have suggested that your body shifts its reproductive and growth energies towards bolstering your immune system functions. Your immune system works to defend you from disease-causing microorganisms, which are often more prevalent during the colder months. That makes this is an especially crucial time to consider ways to naturally boost your immune system. Your lifestyle plays a big part in building or breaking down your immune system’s strength.
Reflect on all your summer indulgences: Barbecues, vacations & travel, excessive periods of being in the sun, late nights, sugary treats such as cocktails, ice cream, etc.
… How you celebrated your summer can influence the quality of your body’s functions. Just as trees shed their leaves in the Fall to contain their energy for colder months, you need to shed the foods, emotions, and habits that will not serve your wellness goals in this time of transformation.
Autumn presents an excellent time to set intentions and prepare for the changes in the seasons ahead. As you adjust your habits, thoughts, foods and even types of activity, we will provide you the information and inspiration for living in healthy rhythm with the seasons.
Adjusting to New Seasons
There is a natural fluctuation in your body’s biological rhythm that occurs over the course of the year and it has an influence on your health. As you approach Fall and the declining light of day, this can increase the release of nocturnal melatonin (sleep-inducing hormone) in your body, as the reduced sunlight in fall and winter is longer than in spring and summer. Research has found consistency in how this can sometimes trigger a change in your behavior such as being withdrawn, having low energy, oversleeping and putting on weight. This is clinically known Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is estimated to affect 10 million Americans.
Whether or not you find your moods and behaviors, or general health are affected, it is good to be aware of your physiological, mental and spiritual needs.
Seasonal Patterns of Sickness
Going into the Fall, you may feel excited for everything pumpkin, cozy sweaters and blankets, and evenings spent curled up with a good book and mug of tea.
But there’s another side to the season that no one looks forward to. Illness such as the cold and flu. So, why does it seem that you get sick more often during the Fall and Winter?
While you can get a cold or flu at any time; there is recognized pattern of flu, starting in October, peaking in February and lasting as late as May.
One explanation research has found, lies in the gel-like membrane that surrounds viral pathogens, or infectious diseases. During spring or summer, when temperatures are warmer, the membrane loses its power to spread. It melts and is not tough enough to protect the virus from the elements before it reaches your respiratory tract. However, with colder temperatures, the membrane is more stable, shielding it as it spreads from person to person. Once it is in your respiratory tract, your body’s warmth melts the membrane so that the virus can infect your cells.
This evidence underlines the fact that during colder months people tend to spend more time indoors. And crowded spaces can increase possibility of spreading infection.
There is numerous other research and hypothesis for seasonal sickness such as low humidity in the air, and a lack of the production of Vitamin D which is shown to be involved in creating antimicrobial properties that may limit the spread of flu virus.
If you are someone who deals with a form of chronic disease, contracting any new illness can be extra-limiting to your well being. Your immune system is already putting forth its best efforts to try to help you heal. Studies have shown that those with hypertension, obesity, asthma and fibrosis disease may be even more susceptible to experiencing a severe seasonal co-morbidity. And particular to the Fall-Winter seasons, are evidence of higher Body Mass Index values, which increase the risk for asthma exacerbation in adults and children with chronic asthma.
Clinical evidence supports the predicted pattern of seasonal sensitivities. It shows the worst mental health to occur during the fall and spring and the worst physical health to occur during the winter. Along with lifestyle factors such as age, exercise, diet, relationships, environmental, and spiritual health, seasonal sensitivity may present itself as an additional contributor to potential disease progression.
Having a strong immune system is your best asset as your first line of defense from illness. It has evolved to naturally detect and remove viral infections, and the cells that work within it require energy to function as needed. This means it is important to consider your lifestyle as key as a contributor to its abilities. In Part Two of the ‘Autumnal Cleanse’ series, we will explore the ways you can use food to actively strengthen your immunity and natural defenses with a lifestyle that healthfully embraces the season.
By paying special attention to seasonal stressors and enhancing your immune system, you improve your understanding of yourself and your overall wellness.
You have the right to be happy, feel nourished, and feel aligned with your importance, as you transition through every season of your life.
Are you ready to START or BOOST your Wellness Journey? If so, I encourage you to click this link HERE. I don’t want you to miss out on the possibility to experience enhanced health and wellness!
Now if you’re feeling inspired, I would be really grateful if you will follow me and comment on my Instagram or my FaceBook Page. This helps other people find me and is a way we both can help encourage healing and wellness around the world! Thank you!
To Your Health,
Kiran Grewal MD
"My goal is to share my knowledge with the world. I believe in delivering valuable and ethical content that changes the lives of my patients."
-Kiran Grewal MD