6 Ways To Support Your Health This Autumn

In partnership with Healthspan

The change in season can bring challenges for our wellbeing, but it also offers an opportunity to hit the reset button and embrace a healthy lifestyle. Here are some ideas to help you kick-start your immune system and prioritise your physical and emotional health as we welcome all that autumn has to offer us here in the Bailiwick.

‘Any type of exercise - from a cycle ride to a yoga session or even a brisk walk - for at least half an hour on most days will give your immune system a boost.’
Dr Sarah Brewer, Healthspan Medical Director 


Beach Walk 1


1.  Stay Active

It’s important to stay active through autumn and into winter. ‘Any type of exercise - from a cycle ride to a yoga session or even a brisk walk - for at least half an hour on most days will give your immune system a boost.’ says Healthspan’s Medical Director Dr Sarah Brewer. 

It can be more difficult to motivate yourself as the nights draw in and people who feel stiff or suffer from achy joints will tell you that they feel worse when the weather turns cold and damp. If you relate, then swimming is an excellent way for you to stay flexible, and there's a thriving community of year round sea swimmers in the Bailiwick. They'll tell you that whilst yes it is cold, they feel refreshed and energised after even the quickest of dips, and the health benefits of this wellness trend are well documented. Immersing your body in cold water stimulates endorphins to trigger positive feelings in your body, both physically and mentally, helping to naturally relieve pain, reduce anxiety and combat stress. 

And did you know that autumn is actually the ideal time to swim in local waters? The average water temperature in October is actually higher than July. Looking for the best swimming spots in the Bailiwick? Try this.


2.  Sleep Well

When it comes to wellbeing, a good night’s sleep is essential for good health. It is your body’s opportunity to reset itself piece by piece. It gets to work strengthening your immune system, repairing tissues and regulating your hormone levels to name but a few of many physical healing processes that go on while you sleep.

Your mind is also recharging while you sleep, working to regulate your mood and lower your stress levels. If you sleep well, your energy and concentration levels will also be improved, allowing you to be more present in your day and your relationships, more productive and as a result, calmer and happier. 


3.  Reduce Stress

Stress can also have a major effect your body's immune system, suppressing the production of the immune cells that help our bodies to fight infections and other diseases. Which basically means that keeping your stress levels low is key for healthy immunity. Exercise can help to do this, especially if you choose an activity such as yoga or pilates, both of which can help you to find balance by blocking out an hour for yourself to stretch out the body and settle the mind.


Probio Food


4.  Look After Your Gut Health

We all have a unique microbiome, which is originally determined by genetics, but over time shaped by lifestyle. A healthy microbiome contains trillions of microorganisms, and a healthy gut doesn’t just improve digestive health, it can also lead to better mental wellbeing and support your immune system. Gastrointestinal experts and nutritionists say that the key to maintaining or improving good gut health and to generally improving your wellbeing is to create - and maintain - a delicate balance of bugs in your microbiome. 

In order to do this, it’s important to eat well, and that means including a diverse range of foods including probiotic rich foods such as live yoghurt, sourdough bread and fermented foods and drinks in your diet. Healthspan has a range of healthy recipes for you to browse, created by nutritionists to help you make balanced - and tasty - meals. Supplementing your diet with probiotics to feed the good bugs in your digestive system can sometimes help you stay on track, especially if there has been a disturbance in the balance of the microbiota, whether from illness, poor diet, lack of sleep, dehydration, chronic stress or prolonged use of medications such as antibiotics.


5.  Make Connections

There is a natural tendency for us to hibernate as winter approaches, yet it’s important to ensure that spending time alone doesn’t slip into feeling socially isolated, as this has been linked to a variety of physical and mental health conditions including a weakened immune system, anxiety and depression. 

There is a lot going on in the Bailiwick to help you make meaningful connections and reduce your stress levels. It’s just a case of finding something that works for you and making it a part of your routine. Looking for inspiration? Why not drop in for a cuppa at one of the Talking Cafes dotted around the island? They're informal and friendly. Just turn up and see how it goes. Men’s Shed also recognises that it’s often more difficult for men to socialise. They provide sheds that encourage men to make and do things together in order to enhance their sense of purpose and wellbeing. Guernsey Mind is of course another valuable resource if you need support with your mental wellbeing.



6.  Give Your Immune System A Boost

Whilst we know that we should prioritise a nourishing diet and healthy lifestyle, for many reasons we often need a helping hand. We've rounded up a list of 10 supplements to support your health this autumn. Each supplement is designed to help you to boost your immune system and prioritise your wellbeing over the coming months. You can also always head to the Healthspan shop in Church Square in Town. They have everything you need to support your health this autumn and winter. And the team are very friendly. Pop in and see Carolyn, who will be happy to give you advice.


‘Nothing beats a healthy, balanced diet to provide all the nutrients we need. But when this isn't possible, supplements can help. This article isn't intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying supplements or herbal medicines.’ - Healthspan


*This article contains affiliate links.

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