Autumn is here. The good news: time to dust off those glorious boots and jumpers. The not-so-good news: time for the annual onslaught of winter bugs and feeling generally under the weather. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We recommend tips for exercise in autumn that will help prepare your body for the colder months.

While you can’t completely avoid catching bugs and colds, you can give your immune system a helping hand (and no, that doesn’t mean shoving a load of ‘vitamin-boost’ fizzy tablets in your drawer to guzzle when you’re run down).

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Here, Rob Hobson, Healthspan nutritionist author of Detox Kitchen Bible Cookbook (available on Amazon), and Mollie Millington, author of 52 Weekend Challenges: Cultivating Health & Happiness (available on Amazon) and personal trainer, share top tips for the exercise and diet tweaks to make now to keep you well through winter…

Exercise in autumn
(Thinkstock/PA)

Food in autumn

Embrace the season

A healthy, balanced diet is key for good health – but do you find it easier to eat healthily during summertime? Making the switch to winter doesn’t have to mean letting all those healthy habits slip. “Swapping berries and salads for root vegetables, apples and pears is just as healthy,” says Rob. “The problem is that the cold weather and dark evenings often leave us craving comfort foods that we find nurturing.

“Smoothies are still a great way to top up your breakfast, and eggs or porridge are perfect if you’re looking for something warming. Try making warm salads by incorporating some cooked grains. Also, use stocks, tomatoes and yogurt in place of cream when making stews and casseroles – and tuck into all those lovely winter veggies!”

Carrots, pumpkins, beetroots; autumn’s seasonal veg make it really easy to ‘eat the rainbow’, often cited as a great way to ensure you’re consuming a good range of nutrients. For cooking inspiration, read our 12 favourite autumn recipes.

Be supplement savvy

Lots of us only think about packing in extra vitamins once we actually feel unwell, but our immune systems function best if they’re supported continually. Consider starting to take a quality multivitamin now if you don’t already.

“You want to try and maintain a strong immune system so that it’s able to deal with the bugs and colds that are thrown at it during the winter months. You don’t really ‘boost’ your immune system as such, but make it more efficient and able to do its job,” explains Rob. “As a general all-rounder, a multivitamin and mineral is a good, cost-effective way to fill any shortfalls in your diet, and supply you with the nutrients typically associated with immunity, such as zinc and vitamin C.

“There are some nutrients that are typically lacking in the diet during winter, such as vitamin D, so I would advise taking this from October onwards,” he adds. “You may also want to think about taking a probiotic as your gut bacteria is very involved in immunity.”

If you fancy boosting your health this autumn, shop a wide range of vitamins and supplements in our Wise Living Shop

Exercise in autumn
(Thinkstock/PA)

Get spicy

‘Tis the season of hearty soups, stews and casseroles, and spices are an easy way to add some oomph in the healthiness – as well as the taste – stakes. Take inspiration from your favourite coffee shop chains and add warming spices to hot drinks, porridge and breakfast smoothies.

“I am a big fan of incorporating lots of spices into your diet all year round. There is always one for every occasion, dish or drink,” says Rob. “Spices not only contain a good source of minerals, such as iron, magnesium and calcium, but many contain anti-inflammatory compounds, such as curcumin, found in turmeric.”

Exercise in autumn

Switch to lunchtime workouts

Exercise in autumn
(Thinkstock/PA)

Physical exercise also plays a vital role in helping your immune system do its job in autumn and winter. If you know the dark mornings and evenings are going to hamper your usual workout regime, switch things up and make the most of lunchtimes and early afternoons to fit in some exercise.

Circumstances permitting, check out afternoon classes at nearby gyms (“Many gyms offer cheaper classes during the day, as the classes are less popular,” notes Mollie) or make use of nearby parks for jogging.

You could even work in some HIIT and yoga sessions without having to leave the office or spend any money – thanks to the internet and wealth of free fitness videos on YouTube. “There are 100-plus free workouts on my website (ptmollie.com) that require little or no gym equipment. They take 15 minutes, so you could also do these at work on your lunch break with colleagues,” says Mollie.

Don’t let the weather stop you getting outside

A great form of exercise in autumn is walking. Invest in suitable footwear and a waterproof jacket and you’ll never need to let the weather stop you from getting outdoors to walk. If walking to work isn’t an option, or it’s too dark, Mollie suggests getting in a little earlier “and then use 30 minutes before work to walk briskly around your office building”.

And if you’re saving for Christmas, long weekend walks are a great way to help save money. “An activity tracker or phone app that counts the number of steps you take a day can also be a good motivator,” adds Mollie.

Best-selling casserole dishes

Fancy making a warming stew or casserole this autumn? Check out our list of best-selling casserole dishes on Amazon. 

Bestseller No. 1
Round Casserole Dish - Cast Iron Ceramic Induction and Gas Safe Non Stick Dutch Oven Roasting Cooker...
  • GREAT COOKING APPLIANCE: The cast iron casserole dish is just the piece your kitchen has been missing. Great for use as a big stew dish or for slowly roasting your Sunday Lunch.
  • ANY HEATING SOURCE: The Dutch Oven is suitable for any heating source, whether it's gas, halogen, radiant ring or induction, the piece is versatile and will excel in your kitchen!
  • STYLISH DESIGN: The creuset dishes have a clean, sleek design with circular ribs on the tight-fitting lid. Pick the most suitable colour for your kitchen and let it compliment your interior design....
Bestseller No. 2
Overmont 5L Enamelled Cast Iron Round Casserole Dish With Lid,26cm, Cookbook -Non-stick Dutch Oven...
  • Premium enamel cast iron delivers superior heat distribution and retention. The integral molding is solid and durable.
  • Water vapor condenses on the lid and falls evenly to keep the food at a proper humidity and taste better. In traditional pot cover, the vapor condenses fall along the side of the pot, which makes meat...
  • Various uses: stewing, boiling, roasting, frying, all can be done with one cookware.
SaleBestseller No. 3
Pyrex Essentials Glass oval Casserole high resistance, 3 L
  • Heat resistant up to 300 degrees
  • Oven-safe and frozen
  • Oven and dishwasher safe
Bestseller No. 4
Small Casserole Dish with Lid, 0.65L 15cm, Individual Glass Casserole for One, Microwaveable, Oven...
  • 【Small 0.65L Personal Size】Bowl Measures internally Φ15xH5cm. Overall Casserole LxWxH (&handles&lid): 18x16x8cm. Perfect for individuals living alone to makes or reheat meals in single servings...
  • 【Perfect for Food Safety】Nothing but glass, no worries about chemicals, teflon, cook and eat healthy!
  • 【Oven to Table to Fridge】Cook, Serve, Store and Reheat all in one casserole dish and minimises washing-up
SaleBestseller No. 5
Pyrex Essentials - Set of 3 glass casseroles high resistance 1,4L/2,1L/3L
  • Borosilicate Glass: promotes optimal cooking, for a tender and juicy result
  • Oven safe up to 300°C - Microwave, diswasher and freezer safe
  • Handles adapted, easy to grip

Last update on 2024-02-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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