Many of us look forward to fall. The start of a new school year, vibrant colors, football season and the crisp smell of autumn in the air.
While fall is the time of year to enjoy a pumpkin spiced latte, it is also the perfect season to check off some important items on your healthy living list.

Here are a few tips for making fall a season of health.

Schedule health screenings:
Make sure that all important screenings are on your calendar. Those include a mammogram, colonoscopy, heart check-up and diabetes and cholesterol blood tests.

Get your shots:
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) everyone over the age of six months should receive a flu shot with rare exceptions. People who receive the flu vaccine significantly reduce their risk of becoming hospitalized or dying from the flu virus.
It’s recommended that adults over the age of 50 get the shingles vaccine.
Make sure your tetanus, meningitis, hepatitis and HPV vaccines are scheduled or up to date.

Schedule enough sleep:
Summer fun often includes staying up late and sleeping in, especially for kids.
Fall is a fine time for the whole family to get back on a sleep schedule. School-age children need 9-12 hours per night; teenagers require 8-10 of sleep and adults should try to get 7 hours. Remember to put electronics to bed one hour before you want to fall asleep.

Be intentional about handwashing:
COVID-19 underscored the need for keeping our hands clean. But there are several tough viruses and bacteria that can make you sick as we head into fall and through the winter months.
Teach children to wash their hands for 20 seconds at a time, several times per day, especially after using the bathroom and before eating. Remember to wash your hands after interacting with high-touch surfaces such as public doorknobs. Do not touch your face and keep your hands away from your mouth.

As temperatures cool and the risk of heat-related illness recedes, fall is a wonderful time to get into an exercise routine. Walking, hiking and bike rides are fun and healthy activities for the whole family.

Eat your roots and vegetables:
The rich colors of root vegetables such as beets, squash, cabbage, pumpkin and purple carrots work well in salads, slaws, soups and roasted.
These veggies are not only packed with flavor, they contain potassium, folate, complex carbohydrates and vitamins A, B and C.

Sources: Vaccine Information for Adults (CDC), Guide to Fall Fitness and Health (Verywell Fit) and What Are the Health Benefits of Root Vegetables? (WedMD)