Fall is the season of shortening days, bulky clothing and more time spent indoors. Don't do it! Don't fall into the trap of telling yourself that "summer is over and I can forget all about these things." Here are six summer habits you should maintain in the fall.
1. Get outside as much as you can.
Being outdoors is a good thing. Communing with nature lowers your stress level. Plus, ask any Seattleite why they rush out the door at the first sign of the rain clouds parting and they will tell you this: I want to catch up on my Vitamin D! Sun is good for us, when it's not being bad for us. So just because the temps may be brisker come fall, don't hide inside binge-watching Netflix. Get out there and catch some rays.
Here are five others we told you about last year that still make great sense!
2. Apply sunscreen.
Using sunscreen is a four-season event, not something you do only in the summer. We may trade beaches for ski slopes, but the truth is, it's just as easy to get sunburned in the winter as it is in summer, according to the Mayo Clinic. Snow reflects the sun's rays, so sunburn is possible even if you're cold. When you're outdoors, wear sunscreen on any exposed areas. Lip balm with UV protection too!
The American Cancer Society says that most skin cancers are a direct result of exposure to the UV rays in sunlight. Both basal cell and squamous cell cancers (the most common types of skin cancer) are generally found on sun-exposed parts of the body. Sun protection doesn't end with Labor Day.
3. Drink lots and lots of water.
In the summer's heat wave, you don't need to tell us twice to drink water. We dutifully carry our water bottles with us wherever we go. But once the temperatures drop out of the 90s and the humidity goes back where it came from, our water drinking habits dissipate like an ice cube on a New York pavement. Your body's need for water doesn't evaporate when the calendar page flips, though.
Water helps keep our skin looking good and flushes impurities from our kidneys. We lose more fluids when we sweat in the summer, but sweat also occurs during exercise and we hope you don't stop exercising at summer's end either. WebMD says that older people have a diminished sense of thirst which can put them at risk of dehydration.
4. Exercise, exercise, exercise.
In summer, we are outdoors more and moving around more. Just because the fall days are shorter and the temperatures cooler doesn't mean we should stop exercising. Fall hikes are magnificent and frequently free of the mosquitoes that bug us in the spring and summer. And if gyms are your thing, don't stop going just because you've packed your swimsuit away for the year.
5. Food wise, follow the season.
OK, so the sweet corn, strawberries and all those wonderful summer fruits are gone from your grocery shelves, but fresh fall produce is starting to make a showing. How about that spaghetti squash? Making bad food choices just because you can't grab a nectarine or peach on your way out the door is foolish.
Among our favorite super-foods for fall: apples and pears, brussels sprouts, parsnips, cauliflower, and rutabaga.
And while we're at it: Got a plan for the safe disposal of all that Halloween candy your kids will bring home?
6. Moisturize your skin.
Indoor heating may not be Public Enemy No. 1 of beautiful skin, but it's a close cousin. Indoor heat dries out your skin, so it's important to keep it nourished with moisturizer. The real culprit though is winter itself. WebMd says that in winter, the colder outside air carries very little moisture. It's why winter days don't ever feel humid. But moisture still evaporates from your body, leaving your skin and throat parched.
Try using a humidifier. And those scalding hot showers you love so much may not be your friend. They can cause dry itching skin to worsen. Showers remove the natural layer of oil that preserves and protects the skin's moisture, says WebMd.
Have any habits to add? Let us know in comments.