Tips for Autumn Health

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 3.29.01 pmTo live in accordance with the seasons is a traditional Chinese practise for longevity.

Autumn is a transitional season. A time when the abundant energy from the summer declines to make provisions for the hibernation of winter. This can be seen throughout the natural world.

Crops have reached full maturity and are ready for harvest ending their reproductive cycle for the year and allowing their seeds to be sown. Deciduous trees drop their leaves to conserve moisture loss and prepare for the winter. Animals, fat from summer, reduce their activity and begin malting their winter coats.

Just as is seen in nature people need to prepare their body’s for winter.

 

Exercise

Exercise is super important at all times of year but as the weather gets colder the level of exercise should change. The level of exercise is different for individuals as age, fitness level, and health vary from person to person.

As a guideline we recommend that any exercise that promotes excessive sweating and breathlessness should be reduced as the season progresses. Examples of these include intense cardio workouts, endurance exercises, bikram yoga, competitive sports, heavy weightlifting, etc.

Instead exercise that promote a light sweat and moderate breathing are encouraged for example, yoga, taichi, walking, recreational swimming, golf, moderate weight training, low impact aerobics, etc.

 

Diet


A healthy autumn diet should change as the season progresses.

As autumn progresses one should gradually introduce more foods that are bitter and astringent while reducing the amount of pungent and sour foods.

PLEASE NOTE: A healthy diet should include ALL flavours at ALL times of years. However, we recommend adjusting the quantities of foods with these specific flavours consumed.

Astringent foods create a puckering sensation or leave a dry/powdery feeling in the mouth examples include cranberries, lentils, beans, pears, dried fruits, skins of fruit. While pungent foods are foods that fill the room with an aroma when cut open and include foods like raw onion and raw garlic, herbs, chilli, alcohol.

Naturally salty flavoured foods should be introduced as the autumn progresses. This will help the body hold onto water. However, its is for this reason that salt got itself a bad name.

NOTE: Salt will increase your blood pressure so if you already have high blood pressure ignore this tip.

Miso soup, seaweed, kelp, anchovies, cured meats all have a natural salty flavour.

Below are a few examples of the foods we are referring to. What you also might notice is that they’re all in season in autumn!

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Common autumn conditions

In the clinic we regularly encounter dry coughs, dry skin and constipation. It is also a time of year when asthma, hot flashes, and insomnia get worse. These conditions can linger for weeks and can be difficult to overcome.

If you currently suffering from these conditions, greater dietary care is needed. We recommend making an appointment with us to help you recover quickly.