The autumnal months have a way of modifying how we feel from day to day, our outlook on the world surrounding us, and the precautions we take. This October, we drew attention to staying active, allergies that can aggravate, traffic that never seems to cease, and candy carefulness. Let's review these posts from our social media pages. Outdoor Activities to Liven Your Day The weather is shifting to cooler, if not cold temperatures for some of us. But before winter makes its chilly introduction, let’s look at ways to enjoy the outdoors. Biking – Though it requires some safety measures, biking is a pleasant way to exercise and take in fresh air. Whether you travel alone or with others, a breezy, screenless ride to a near or far place can aid in improving your physical and mental state. Soccer – Team up with friends and family and take to the grassy fields with an outdoor activity that seems to have endless appeal. While playing soccer, you can get a little sweat-inducing cardiovascular exercise, a lot of camaraderie, and perhaps a hint of competition. Tennis – With good equipment and good company, you’ll be all set to play. Indeed, hand-eye coordination and speed are essential for succeeding at this sport. But even if you don’t excel at either of those, you’re bound to appreciate the practice it takes to become better. Jogging – After many hours at work, sprinting may feel too demanding and walking may be too glacial. But jogging can be a satisfying, mostly moderate exercise that glides comfortably between those two and often doesn’t require hours out of the week to feel the results. Jumping Rope – You probably delighted in jumping rope as a child. But why not become reacquainted? The activity likely hasn’t lost an ounce of fun. Plus, it is easily one of the best forms of cardiovascular exercise that similar to jogging, requires little equipment and only yourself to get started. Standing Up to Fall Allergies Fall is upon us and that means contending with the allergies that blow in. Today we take a look at fall allergies: what causes them and methods to lessen their severity. What Causes Them? Mold - Fall is when mold is more likely to grow and spread. Fallen leaves combined with rotting wood cause mold levels to peak in many areas. Smoke - Smoke is a known environmental irritant for many people. In some states, people burn leaves and other brush to clear their yards of natural debris. Ragweed - Ragweed allergy affects millions of people in the United States. Ragweed, unlike other pollen counts, peaks in September and starts in mid to late summer, with over 17 species of ragweed growing throughout the United States. Ways to Lessen Their Impact Track Monitor mold and pollen counts on local radio and TV weather reports. Know when pollen counts are highest and plan outdoor activities around it. For instance, ragweed tends to be worse in the morning. Close Up Keep windows and doors shut at home, work, or in the car to prevent allergens from getting inside unnecessarily. Clean While being outdoors is usually good for your health, washing hair, clothing, and skin after working or playing outside can aid in easing the effects of allergens. Guard Consider wearing a NIOSH-rated 95 mask when outdoors mowing the lawn or performing any similar activities. Contending with Traffic The act of driving is familiar to most of us. But no matter how used to it we are, it can still introduce unpleasantness. Let’s look at positive practices to support our mental health while on the road. Plan Ahead Be sure to leave for your destination with plenty of time to arrive. This helps prevent rushing and the stress that accompanies it. Leave Stress Behind Once you get into a vehicle, whatever difficulty or disagreement you may have just had, set it aside for the duration of your travels. When you’re behind the wheel, your safety and importance are imperative. Set Up a Playlist or Podcast Before getting on the road, setting up a favorite music playlist or podcast can aid in keeping the mood in the vehicle as positive as can be. Stay Focused on the Road No matter what distractions arise, maintaining complete focus on the road is better for you and everyone else. Plus, it will likely get you to your destination quicker. Breathe Well During your drive, whether you’re in the middle of a traffic jam or cruising through the country, constant concentration is vital. Taking full, meditative breaths can aid in minimizing your stress level and help keep your awareness strong. Food Safety on Halloween Halloween can be an exciting experience. But amid the merriment, there are some food precautions to consider from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. For the little kids (and us big kids), remember: Don’t eat candy until it has been carefully inspected at home. In case of a food allergy, check the label to ensure the allergen isn’t present. Advise children not to accept - or eat - anything that isn’t commercially wrapped. Additionally: Parents of very young children should remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys from Halloween treat-or-treat bags. Inspect commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering, such as an unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers. Discard anything that appears suspicious. For those attending or having a party, keep in mind: Unpasteurized juices and juices that have not been further processed are at higher risk of food-borne illness. Look for the warning label to identify juice that hasn’t been pasteurized or otherwise processed, especially packaged juice products made on-site. Before bobbing for apples, reduce the risk of bacteria by thoroughly rinsing the apples under cool running water. As an added precaution, use a produce brush to remove surface dirt. With the holidays on the immediate horizon, there is a whole host of methods for staying healthy and feel joy often. Additionally, take a look at our August 2023 and September 2023 for more healthful ideas. To see these health tip social media posts and other posts covering a wide range of topics, check out our LinkedIn and Facebook pages.