LIFESTYLE | 2018-04-30

The reds, oranges and yellows of autumn create a spectacular backdrop to the most colourful time of year. The balmy days are tranquil and the early mornings and evenings have a pleasant chilliness to it.

Keep your family fit and healthy this autumn by following these four simple tips:


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Eat, drink and be healthy

Add healthy autumn vegetables and fruit to your diet. Many root vegetables are in season and are an inexpensive and nutritious way to add variety to your diet. A simple dish of mixed oven baked vegetables add colour and nutritional value to any meal. Citrus fruits are appearing on our shelves as well. Enjoy the vitamin packed and delicious juiciness and keep the winter bugs away!


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Remember to always drink your water! You can be dehydrated even when it is cold, because heaters and air conditioners rob your body and skin of vital moisture. Counteract this by staying hydrated. Your mucous membranes will stay hydrated, working much more effectively to filter out disease causing organisms.


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Yes, even in autumn you should be thinking about sunscreen. Don’t let the colder temperatures fool you. Sunburn in autumn can cause much harm to the skin. The pain of sunburnt, dry and cracked autumn skin is something to avoid at all cost!


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Autumn allergies

In late summer and early autumn, nature is full of allergens that may trigger allergic reactions. Outdoor moulds are plentiful in gutters, soil and vegetation, rotting wood and fallen leaves. You can reduce your exposure to autumn allergens by avoiding being outdoors in the morning hours from 5 to10 a.m. when pollen dispersal is peaking. If your area is not water restricted, shower and wash your hair immediately after coming in from outside activities, and especially before going to bed. Also try to keep the windows and doors of your home and car closed. Always be prepared by making sure you have your hay fever medications ready.


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Get outside and enjoy the season

Bicycling, walking, hiking, and jogging in these lovely balmy days are what a healthy autumn are made of. Let children play outside and learn about nature in a playful way. Consider their school curriculum when taking them outside to explore.


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Clean-and-fix inside and out!

The best time to prepare your home for winter is during autumn. A well planned clean-and-fix schedule for inside and outside your home can help you and your family withstand the harshest of winters. Do not close up your home for the cold season before fixing and cleaning. You seriously do not want to cosy up to your dust mites, allergens and summer dirt for the entire winter season!


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Start by inspecting the structure of your home, both inside and out. Make notes on what needs attention and work out a plan of action to address as much as you can before winter comes.

For ideas, here are 10 tasks to consider:

  1. Does your windows and doors open and close properly. Are they wind and water proof? If not, get them seen to as soon as you can. Keeping your house nice and warm in winter is difficult if your openings can’t be closed completely to the elements. Here you can go one step further and wash all your windows whilst they have your attention.
  2. Check and clean your roof, gutters and water tanks; especially if you live in a winter rainfall area. Make sure that your roof does not leak and that your gutters are free of leaves and other objects. If you are a rain water collector, clean your filters and down-pipes for optimal water collection in winter.
  3. Give your garden some attention. Prune trees, cut back the overgrowth of summer, rake away leaves and other debris, sweep and clean hard surfaces and clean out annual plants from your vegetable and flower patches. Plant new seasonal veggies and prune your bi-annuals and perennials for the next growing season.
  4. Inspect all external light fixtures and other external electric points. Make sure these fittings are in a good condition, are waterproof and that all the light bulbs work. Don’t forget the lights in the garage.
  5. Inspect all internal ceiling light fittings, bedside lamps, standing lamps etc. Replace light bulbs where needed and clean and dust fittings and shades to ensure optimal performance. Also test your electric wall plugs, electric extension cables and light switches, whilst you are thinking electrics. Make sure everything is in good and safe working order.
  6. Dust and polish. Get rid of the summer build-up of dust and pollen and use a quality furniture polish and cloths. Dust down book shelves and make sure your mirrors are gleaming.
  7. Move the furniture before vacuuming, to help ensure you clean in all those nooks and crannies. Just because you can’t see behind the sofa, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be kept clean.
  8. Put away your summer clothes and linens and replace them with cool-season items, woollies and coats. To keep moths at bay, use moth balls in the wardrobe to reduce the chances of your clothes being ruined.
  9. Bring winter cushions and throws out of storage for the lounge and add some extra blankets to beds to create a warm and a cosy feeling in the bedrooms.
  10. De-clutter your kitchen cupboards and clear out all foods that are out of date, spices that are more than six months old or have lost their scent. Clear out the fridge, defrost the freezer and throw out old food. Move all your big appliances and clean the sides, behind and the floor underneath.


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