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A season of change

Published in Family Medicine, Inside CentraCare Author: Jennifer Gannon, PA-C

Summer is over and school is back in session. The changing colors and cooler temperatures may have you evaluating your routines and lifestyle. Fall is a time of change. Consider the following tips for making healthy changes.

  1. Schedule routine exams. If summer vacations and activities delayed your regular health, eye and dental exams, call today. Preventive care is important in maintaining your overall health and catching potential concerns early. Find a provider 
  2. Get your flu shot. None of us wants to give up a weekend or week to be home sick with a headache, body aches, fatigue and the fever. The flu vaccine is the best way to prevent the flu. Ask for the flu shot at your health exam or attend a flu shot clinic. Learn more how to get your flu shot.
  3. Make sleep a priority. Busy summer schedules and more daylight make it easy to get out of sync with your regular sleep schedule. Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. Put away electronic devices and avoid stimulating activities in the hour or two before bedtime.
  4. Change up your workout routine. Falling temperatures and shorter days can be a good time to join a gym or try an exercise class with a friend. Savor the changing scenery on a hike, bike ride or run. Fall yardwork also provides an extra opportunity to burn calories.
  5. Savor the foods of fall. Nothing says autumn like fresh apples and pumpkins. Root vegetables, Brussels sprouts and the many variety of squash are less popular foods but provide rich nutrients. Add the vegetables to a soup or chili or roast them with a little oil, salt and pepper. 
  6. Get outside. Take a break from your devices and fantasy football lineup and go for a walk or hike and enjoy the beautiful autumn hues. The fresh air helps increase your vitamin D levels, make you feel happier and improve mental clarity.
  7. Hydrate. While the risks of dehydration are less in the cooler months, it is still important to drink water. Staying hydrated helps boost your immune system, improve your mood and increase your energy.
  8. Wash your hands. Cold and flu season is here. Get in the habit of frequently washing your hands with soap and water to avoid getting sick and spreading germs.
  9. Make time for friends. If your summer weekends were booked with out of town trips and activities, connect with friends you’ve missed. Sip some apple cider, attend a local fall event or take a walk over lunch.
  10. Check batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Test batteries in the fall and spring. Replace the batteries at least once every year.

Hey Early Birds!

To better meet the needs of working families, the CentraCare Clinic in Albany is now open earlier on Wednesday mornings. Jennifer Gannon, PA-C, is now available for appointments starting at 7:15 a.m. To schedule an appointment, call 320-845-2157.