While there are definite drawbacks to the encroachment of winter & the time change this weekend, fall offers to opportunity to retrench and re-establish some important health habits.
1. Cracking a window, or lowering the temperature, to supercharge your sleep.
A night-time temperature of 66 degrees has been proven to increase the stores of “brown fat”—a metabolically active type of good fat that helps the body get rid of excess blood sugar and burn calories. Try adjusting your thermostat down just a little. Even small adjustments to a cooler temperature can provide benefits while you sleep (as well as being energy efficient!).
2. Gazing at the changing colors of the fall leaves improves your mood and relaxes you.
Fall is perhaps the best season to get out in a park or wooded area just to simply enjoy the scenery. Research shows that when you experience perceived beauty—like the changing fall colors—the medial orbitofrontal cortex part of your brain is activated, which contains your strongest thinking responses and your relaxation center.
3. Inhaling the scent of certain fall foods and spices benefits your brain.
Enjoy the aromas of some of the fall’s most fragrant ingredients. The smell of cinnamon is shown to sharpen our minds. Another powerful scent, peppermint boosts energy and enhances concentration.
4. Cold and cloudy weather clears your mind and boosts your memory.
The brisk, fresh air doesn’t just feel good on your skin and in your lungs — the benefits extend right to your mental state, too. Fall weather actually wakes up your mind. Mental clarity, the ability to memorize and retain information, and our general level of awareness has all been shown to improve in the fall.