Don't Let Fall Bring You Down!
When the weather changes outside, does our internal emotional palette change color, as well? We know that many Americans suffer from depression and mood disorders, and women have an increased risk - depression affects twice as many women as men, and about 20% of U.S. women will be affected in their lifetime. Experts believe that the increased chance of depression in women may be related to changes in hormones levels that occur throughout a woman's lifetime, through puberty, pregnancy and menopause as well as after a birth or experciencing a miscarriage. Many factors increase this risk, such as genetic, biological, interpersonal, reproductive and psychological and personality characteristics. The good news is that fall is a great time to get outdoors and start a new project or activity and both of these choices are proven methods for reducing stress and enhancing your mood. Plus, the fall months are full of treats for the senses: picking apples, raking leaves, carving a pumpkin, viewing the gorgeous canopy of fall foliage. It is a time to renew and restart, and by increasing your activity, eating fall vegetables and fruits (try squash, pumpkin, pomegranates, persimmons), you promote wellness and engage both mind and body. Here are some tips for enjoying the cooler weather and relieving some built up stress: 1) walking, hiking and cycling are spectacular in the fall and are great opportunities to discover some new trails and take in some new scenery; 2) many classes start in the fall when the kids are back in school and it is a good time to plan not only the family calendar but your own personal fitness calendar for exercise opportunities; 3) adapt to the fewer hours of sunlight by purchasing a reflective vest for your morning runs or a light for your helmet or bike; 4) step outside and walk around your child's soccer practice field or hold that work meeting while taking a walk; 5) say "no" to one more holiday engagement and learn to let go of some items on your to-do list (the laundry will be there!).
End of the year stress can be eased by taking time for the basics: maintain social connections, eat a healthy diet, get regular sleep and try to keep moving and you will have the resources to beat the pre-winter blahs!
Domestic Violence Awareness Month
October is recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It’s a time for survivors, advocates and the community to mourn those lost to domestic violence, celebrate those who have survived the abuse, and connect with those who tirelessly work to end the violence. According to the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, in Indiana in 2010, 62 people died as a result of domestic violence. In addition, between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011, over 6,000 adults and 4,500 children were served in a shelter and over 15,000 adults and almost 5,000 children were served by non-residential programs. Domestic violence affects everyone in a community and thus relies on community solutions to end the violence. If you or someone you know needs help, please call the state domestic violence hotline at 1-800-332-7385. To learn more about ways you can stop the violence, please visit the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence website at www.icadvinc.org
Fall Fitness and Health
As the days become shorter and colder, a common reaction is to retreat indoors and indulge in some comforting, home cooked fall food. While that's tempting,
you should challenge yourself to stay active and be health-conscious when preparing meals.
Aside from doing muscle-strengthening activities at least two days a week, try to get in at least 150 minutes a week of brisk walking or at least 75 minutes a week of jogging or running. When exercising in the cold, it's important to stay warm without overheating. It's best to wear layers that you can remove as you heat up, and wearing a thin first layer made of polypropylene fabric, rather than cotton, is best because cotton will absorb your sweat, keeping you wet and chilly. Also, don't forget to keep your head and hands warm with a hat and gloves!
As for the warm, comforting fall food, there are healthier alternatives that still give you a satisfying fix. Chili is a staple cold-weather food, but try substituting lean turkey for beef and adding lots of beans for extra fiber. Then exchange your sour cream topping for 0% plain Greek yogurt. And you can't forget dessert! Instead of a sugar-loaded apple pie a la mode, search for a lighter apple crisp recipe that you can top off with some anti-inflammatory, heart-healthy cinnamon. Replace the ice cream with 0% plain Greek yogurt or a low-fat whipped cream and enjoy your snack guilt-free!
Eating Healthy Just Became Easier!
The State Obesity Plan, released earlier this year, aims to combat Indiana’s obesity rate, but we all can do our part to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables at each meal. It is the time for apples, after all, and the “apple a day” saying may serve as a reminder! Here are two local organizations that are making it easier for you and your family to have access to the produce you need to live a healthy lifestyle:
Indy Urban Acres Farm - an 8-acre organic farm on the Eastside and a partnership among Indiana University Health, Indianapolis Parks Foundation, Indy Parks & Recreation and Gleaners Food Bank - will share its bounty with Gleaners and other food relief agencies.
Garden on the Go
- a delivery service that aims to provide affordable access to fruits and vegetables throughout Marion County- expanded its service schedule from 12 to 16 stops per week! Garden on the Go operates Wednesday-Saturday, year-round, stopping at the same locations and times each week.