As the seasons change, a wide array of health conditions often become evident – ranging from colds and flu to arthritis and respiratory ailments. Now is an opportune time to review your routine, prioritise sleep and ensure adequate hydration intake.

Seasonal changes can cause mood shifts that manifest as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). If these feelings persist, consult a healthcare provider immediately.

Spring

Springtime brings hope of new beginnings and renewal, yet can also have serious adverse health impacts. Warmer weather, brighter sun and increased outdoor activity can energize us and improve our mood; but allergies often flare up more acutely in spring while colds hit hard too. Spring is also when many major life events like graduations or weddings take place that may produce anxiety or melancholy in their wake.

Spring is defined astronomically as the beginning of vernal equinox, which generally falls between March 19 and 21 each year. Spring marks the time when trees suddenly sprout green buds and hibernating animals begin to waken from hibernation, plants bloom for birth and people feel revitalized after months of winter weather.

As daylight increases, so too does melatonin production, leading to an increase in depression for those prone to it and bipolar disorder sufferers whose manic episodes typically peak around this time of year.

People suffering from seasonal allergies can experience symptoms including nasal congestion, sore throat pain and sneezing due to allergens present in the air. Unfortunately, these seasonal ailments are difficult to overcome and if left untreated they can lead to serious illnesses like pneumonia and asthma.

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Longer hours of sunlight may make some people tired, but getting an adequate night’s rest is important for overall health and well-being. Adults should aim for at least seven to nine hours each night as an optimal amount.

Springtime is also an ideal opportunity to adopt healthy eating habits. Fresh produce makes this an excellent opportunity to incorporate more vegetables and fruits with nutritious benefits and vitamin D into our diets, such as eating salad with loads of leafy greens, strawberries and asparagus to increase energy and vitamin D intake. Staying hydrated by drinking half an ounce to one ounce per pound you weigh each day is also essential to staying nourished and balanced.

Summer

Summer’s long sunny days bring much to look forward to, yet can also present health hazards. A change in temperature, an increase in pollen count and use of air-conditioning can trigger asthma, bronchitis, nasal congestion and eye irritation among other ailments – typically seen among children or people living with chronic illnesses but affect all.

Another concern during summer months is an increase in colds and flu cases due to weakening immune systems. Therefore, it’s vital to maintain a regular schedule with healthy foods during this season of the year.

Summer sun rays can be particularly harsh and cause skin cancer, so to protect against its damaging rays it’s wise to wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Additionally, staying hydrated by regularly drinking water after exercise or heat exposure is vital in order to avoid dehydration and heat stroke.

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Seasonal changes can have a drastic impact on both your mood and sleeping patterns. Less daylight in fall and winter could throw off your biological clock and result in lower serotonin levels; which in turn contribute to seasonal affective disorder (SAD), an ongoing form of depression associated with certain seasons.

As summer brings freedom and free time, many spend it mowing the lawn, gardening or performing other outdoor tasks. Unfortunately, this activity may contribute to hay fever symptoms including sneezing and itching; additionally, warmer weather encourages pollination of different plants which may trigger allergies that range from rashes to hives.

Winter

Winter places physiological stresses on your body, with those more healthy and fit being better able to adapt. Cold temperatures force the body to work harder maintaining body heat by increasing caloric intake and heart rate – this puts heart health at risk and tightening airways for asthmatic people causing breathing difficulties. Therefore, it’s essential that homes are heated safely during this season, especially for the very old or those suffering from an underlying health condition.

Winter brings with it dark and shorter days that can cause seasonal affective disorder (SAD), commonly referred to as the “winter blues.” SAD follows a specific pattern and may impact your life for months – leaving feelings of sadness, low energy, sleep or eating changes among its symptoms. If this sounds familiar speak with your doctor right away.

Colder climates can put strain on our immune systems, leaving us more susceptible to infection from viruses like colds and flu – but pneumonia may be more serious – making vaccination important if you’re over 65 or have an existing health condition. It is especially recommended for anyone over 65 or with health complications to receive both seasonal flu and pneumococcal vaccines each year.

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People spending more time indoors during the winter can lead to an inactive lifestyle. Engaging in regular moderate or vigorous physical activity such as walking, dancing or gardening is important in staying active while burning calories and improving mood. Aim to complete at least 150 minutes or 75 minutes of moderate or vigorous physical activity per week – simple activities such as dancing can count towards this goal!

Colder climates can exacerbate skin dryness, leading to itching, tingling and redness. To combat this effect, use a hydrating hand cream regularly, drink lots of water and moisturize regularly. Also remember your eye care as dry air can aggravate symptoms – talk with an eye care provider about prescription drops or alternative remedies as necessary.