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Five ways fall is great for your health
With that subtle chill in the early mornings and evenings, the leaves changing colors and the days becoming ever shorter, fall is undoubtedly in the air. If you're the type of person who puts a premium on your health and staying active, the arrival of cooler weather may seem like a downer. But in reality, every season has its own unique health benefits, they just require a change of perspective to realize them. Let's explore the ways that the arrival of fall can improve your health in the coming months.
- Live longer with a fall birthday
According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago, babies born between September and November are more likely to live to 100 and beyond than those born at other points on the calendar, reported New Scientist. The study authors compared birth and death information from more than 1500 centenarians born in the U.S. between 1880 and 1895, which revealed that the majority of those who lived until 100 were born in the fall months. While there is no concrete cause for this, the researchers hypothesized that seasonal infections, seasonal vitamin deficiency or a seasonal variation of hormone levels could have played a role in the disparity of ages. If you have a fall birthday, it's reason to celebrate!
- The harvest season
Fall offers unrivaled options to eat healthy, so whether you're heading to the grocery store or your local farmer's market, embrace the season's bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables! Some of the best seasonal favorites are apples (high in fiber and antioxidants), pumpkins and sweet potatoes (low calories and high in vitamin E) and figs (high in potassium and fiber).
- Daylight Savings Time
While most people don't embrace dark skies at 5 p.m. each day, daylight savings time does give you an extra hour of sleep each night that you should take advantage of! A proper sleep schedule can lower your risk of heart attack, improve your memory and countless other physiological benefits that you'll feel each day.
- Fall fitness activities
With the sweltering temperatures in the rear view mirror, fall will afford you the opportunity to get outside and enjoy the best the season has to offer. Fun activities like apple picking or visiting a pumpkin patch are a great way to soak up some vitamin D and burn some calories in the process. Additionally, raking leaves and other fall chores may be at the bottom of your to-do list, but they are simple ways to stay active as the season gets underway.
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- Autumn spices
Seasonal changes in cuisine, spices in particular, can also come with their own share of health benefits. For instance, cinnamon is used in everything from hot drinks to entrees, and this spice has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, as well as being extremely high in antioxidants. Sage and rosemary also play a starring role in fall dishes, and they are known to contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to aid digestion, coughs and sore throats. Lastly, nutmeg is an autumnal staple and contains vital vitamins and minerals including folate, manganese, dietary fiber, copper, thiamin and much more.
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