How to Stay Healthy This Fall

As summer transitions into fall in just two weeks time (the first day of autumn is September 22nd), Vancouver physician, Ali Ghahary, has put together a list of tips on how to better prepare yourself for the changing seasons.

How to Stay Healthy This Fall

As flu season approaches in November, it’s not a bad idea to get the flu shot a bit early. Typically, many clinics and pharmacies around Vancouver and surrounding areas will offer the flu shot as early as October. If you are high-risk (such as a senior over the age of 65, have a previously diagnosed chronic illness, have a weakened immune system or are pregnant), Dr. Ali Ghahary recommends getting the flu shot. It is also recommended for children under the age of 5. There are many types of flu strains, and it is a highly contagious illness, so it’s always a good idea to protect yourself against it. To avoid influenza, always practice good hygiene habits such as regular hand washing, keeping your mouth and nose covered when coughing, and avoiding contact with others who are sick.

Along with the fall also comes gloomier weather – this means more clouds and rain than sunshine. As a result, we’ll be spending more time indoors than out, which means our intake of Vitamin D will be decreased. To ensure you’re getting enough Vitamin D, Dr. Ali Ghahary recommends taking a Vitamin D supplement. Taking Vitamin D helps with calcium absorption, and it also boosts your immune system and your mood. Click here for more surprising benefits of Vitamin D.

Daylight savings also occurs in the fall. On November 5th, we’ll be turning our clocks behind an hour. This means that there will be longer periods of darkness, and as a result you will be getting some extra sleep. However, some people often have trouble with daylight savings as it can make you feel as though your sleep pattern has been significantly disrupted. Despite getting that extra hour of sleep, it’s still important to go to bed at a decent time and make sure you’re getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night so you feel well-rested the next day. For those who suffer from insomnia, Dr. Ali Ghahary shares some tips on how to fight it on his website at alighahary.ca.

You may also notice a change in your skin during the colder fall months, and even into winter. Cooler temperatures can cause skin to become pale, dry and flaky, so it is important to keep your skin moisturized. You can also still wear a sunscreen. If you have sensitive skin, your family physician or dermatologist will be able to recommend something to you.

Staying active is also important! With the change in weather you may be less inclined to exercise outdoors. However, there are still ways you can keep fit at home. If you don’t have exercise equipment, doing stretches and yoga are great ways to stay physically active. Many community centres also have drop-in sessions available and some even offer free fitness classes.

Also remember to keep eating healthy. In-season vegetables broccoli, squash, kale, cabbage, and other dark, leafy green vegetables such as spinach and romaine lettuce. You can find much more information on healthy eating by clicking here.

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The Surprising Health Benefits of Exercise

ExerciseWith people in Canada looking for ways to live longer and have more energy, regular exercise is the key to optimal health. Not only does it keep you fit, but it has also been shown to warn off depression, strengthen bones, and improve digestion. People who exercise regularly also have a lower risk of mental decline, Alzheimer’s and mental illness.

In addition to treating patients with maladies such as the flu or common cold, Dr. Ali Ghahary, an accomplished family physician at Brentwood Medical Clinic in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, also helps to manage his patients’ health by suggesting various lifestyle changes, including exercise.

Just 1.5 hours of exercise per week can reduce the risk of premature death by 20 percent. If you exercise five hours per week, risk of death at an early age decreases as much as 34 percent. A carefully planned workout routine can add years to your life and also lower the risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, high cholesterol and colon cancer. Exercise is a simple, effective way for Canadians and individuals all over the world to boost their health and prevent chronic diseases.

fitnessThe brain also benefits significantly from a challenging workout. Studies have indicated that physical activity not only improves cognitive function, but also reduces anxiety and minimizes the detrimental effects that stress can oftentimes have on the body. Children and adolescents who exercise a few times a week have also been shown to perform better in school than those with a sedentary lifestyle, and active adults have higher levels of GABA, a chemical in the brain that improves the mood and wards off anxiety. Physical exercise also stimulates the formation of new brain cells, helping to improve learning functions and problem solving skills.

Overall, regular exercise can make you healthier, happier, smarter, and more productive – all you need is a minimum of 30 minutes each day in order to reap the benefits.