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From socks to washing your eyelashes with shampoo, here’s our tips to stop autumn ravaging your health

WOMEN are the sicklier sex spending almost a quarter of their lives in ill health, according to new research.

A Public Health England report has revealed that females spend the last 19.3 years of their lives battling medical complaints, while it is 16.2 years for men.

 Women are more likely to suffer from poor health, but some easy steps can help you protect your body
Women are more likely to suffer from poor health, but some easy steps can help you protect your body

And poor lifestyle choices mean they are dying younger than their European sisters.

But do not despair. With summer bowing out, there are lots of things you can do to protect your body from the ravages of ill-health.

LYNSEY HOPE talks to some of the UK’s top medical experts to help you autumn-proof your body.

Eyes

 Shampooing your eyelashes is better than artificial tears to fight dry eyes
Shampooing your eyelashes is better than artificial tears to fight dry eyes

MANY of us battle allergies in the autumn as the leaves fall, and this can lead to dry eyes.

“Dry eye affects around 30 per cent of us at some point in our lives,” says Professor Dan Reinstein of the London Vision Clinic.

“It’s becoming increasingly common because of computer and mobile phone use. It can cause the eyes to feel scratchy, irritated and uncomfortable and it can affect vision.

“People use artificial tears but this dilutes the toxic tears instead of rectifying the issue itself. I would recommend patients shampoo their eyes, using baby shampoo because it doesn’t sting.

 Sunglasses offer excellent protection, even in the autumn
Sunglasses offer excellent protection, even in the autumn

“Close your eyes and use your fingers to rub it over the lashes in the shower. Do it as part of your routine and this will help keep the eyes healthy.”

Keep wearing your shades, too, as sun poses a threat to peepers all year. Wraparound sunnies offer excellent protection in the autumn.

Eat foods which are good for eyesight including oily fish such as salmon and tuna.

Brain

 As summer draws to a close, get out and exercise to boost your mood
As summer draws to a close, get out and exercise to boost your mood

ONE in three of us will suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder as the summer draws to a close, and women are 40 per cent more likely to suffer than men.

“Exercise outdoors to boost your mood,” says psychologist Emma Kenny.

“Getting out and doing some exercise will do far more than any lightbox. You don’t need to run a marathon, a 20-minute stroll to a park will have the same benefits.

“You should also avoid the temptation to stay indoors alone. Get out and socialise with friends as this will also lift your mood and help with mental health.”

 The Government recommends taking vitamin D during the autumn and winter
The Government recommends taking vitamin D during the autumn and winter

Nutritionist Amanda Ursell says its also a good time to consider taking a vitamin D supplement.

“The Government recommends we take a daily supplement through the autumn and winter,” she says. “We just don’t get enough sun in the UK to get the vitamin D our bodies need and it’s vital for a healthy mind.”

Neck

 Keep your neck warm to avoid muscle spasms as it gets chilly out
Keep your neck warm to avoid muscle spasms as it gets chilly out

“WEAR a rollneck,” suggests Sammy Margo, a chartered physiotherapist.

“If you catch a draught on your neck as the weather cools, it can put your muscles in spasm and cause you pain. I’m a big fan of roll necks in the autumn, or try a scarf.”

It’s also important not to neglect your eyesight. “If your sight is failing, you end up crooking your neck and putting your chin forward,” says Sammy. “Long-term, this can cause pain in the neck and the shoulders.

“Make a habit of getting your eyes tested every autumn, your body will thank you for it.”

 Getting your eyes tested every autumn will prevent straining your neck
Getting your eyes tested every autumn will prevent straining your neck

You should try to maintain good posture at your desk and while driving.

Sammy says. “It’s easy to slump down when you feel tired and sluggish at this time of year.

“You put on a jumper and snuggle down. Try to sit upright and keep your back straight, instead.”

Skin

 A rainbow of colourful food can help rejuvenate your skin
A rainbow of colourful food can help rejuvenate your skin

“EAT a rainbow,” says nutritionist Amanda Ursell. “The summer can be hard on your skin so use some brightly coloured autumnal vegetables to restore it to health.

“Orange vegetables such as butternut squash and carrots are particularly useful as they contain carotene which has a natural SPF. They can therefore help to protect your skin at a time when you’ve stopped wearing sun lotion.”

Conditions such as eczema often flare up in the autumn, and central heating can make it worse, sucking moisture from the skin.

Hot water can make matters worse, too, so keep the water warm, avoid skin irritants and use a daily moisturiser such as E45.

Back

 Ditch the flip flops as they can strain your back
Ditch the flip flops as they can strain your back

PHYSIO Sammy also recommends changing your footwear at this time of year. “Flip flops and sandals can wreak havoc with our backs in the summer,” she says.

“They are also bad for your knees, hips and ankles. You have to pinch or curl your toes to keep them on, and this puts strain on the lower- back muscles.

“The autumn is a good time to switch to a shoe which is more supportive and which provides a softer landing.”

Sammy also advises trying exercise to strengthen the core. “Pilates is a good choice,” she says.

Heart

 Getting to bed an hour early can lower blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes
Getting to bed an hour early can lower blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes

GO to bed an hour earlier than usual to keep your ticker in good shape as the summer ends.

A study by the Harvard Business School found that going to bed 60 minutes earlier can lead to a significant drop in blood pressure, lowering your risk of heart attacks and strokes.

And sign up to Stoptober. “Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do to keep your heart healthy,” advises Ashleigh Doggett, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation.

“Smoking cigarettes is one of the biggest risk factors for heart disease and stroke and Stoptober is one of the biggest campaigns to help you give up.”

 Quitting smoking is a great way to help your heart, so sign up to Stoptober
Quitting smoking is a great way to help your heart, so sign up to Stoptober

Ashleigh also recommends getting regular exercise at lunch time. “Some people go to the gym and that’s great,” she says. “But, if you like exercising outdoors, it can be hard when the nights start drawing in and the weather gets colder. If you normally go before or after work, try getting out for exercise in your lunch break, instead.”

Tummy

 Giving your stomach a chance to rest is important for gut health
Giving your stomach a chance to rest is important for gut health

SHORT periods of fasting gives your gut time to recover from all the over-indulgence of the summer, says Stephanie Moore, who runs a seven-day gut clinic at Grayshott Medical Spa.

“You can try the 5:2 diet or I prefer the 16/8,” says Stephanie. “This is where you only eat within eight hours of day. Between 10am and 6pm, for example. The gut lining consists of a layer of cells that replenish every 72 hours, but this won’t happen if your gut is constantly trying to digest food.

“You need to give your tummy time to recover and trying the 16/8 a couple of days a week is a good way to do that.”

Stephanie also suggests trying fermented foods such as cheese.

 Fermented foods like cheese can help replenish your gut
Fermented foods like cheese can help replenish your gut

Jo Travers, a dietician for Love Your Gut, says autumn is a good time to cut down on sugary foods and alcohol.

“I often see people at this time of year who have over indulged in the summer,” she says. “I recommend the Drinkaware app so you can keep track of how much alcohol you are drinking.”

Feet

 Lose the nail polish - your nails need to breathe
Lose the nail polish – your nails need to breathe

“TAKE off your nail varnish,” says Emma McConnachie, a podiatrist and spokesperson for the College of Podiatry.

“Often, at this time of year we see people who are concerned they have a fungal infection because they can see splodgy marks on their nails or a yellowy-orange discolouration.

“Usually, it is just because they have put one coat of varnish over another all summer and the nails have not had a chance to breathe. They are deprived of oxygen. The autumn is a good time to give the nails a break.”

It’s also a good time to start wearing socks. Emma says: “We see women still in flip flops and ballet pumps and they are not appropriate for the weather.

 Keeping your feet warm will prevent untreatable chilblains which make it painful to walk
Keeping your feet warm will prevent untreatable chilblains which make it painful to walk

“They will start to get chilblains which can make it painful to walk. They can’t be treated, so it’s best to prevent them in the first place.”

Rubbing a tennis ball under the arch of the foot is good for stretching muscles and giving your feet a massage. Emma says: “Try it while sat on the sofa in the evening, it can be very relaxing.”

Article source: https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/7234525/top-tips-autumn-ravaging-health/

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