The leaves are starting to turn, a chill is in the air and the kids are back in school. You may be welcoming the season or you may be clinging to the last bits of summer. Either way, be mindful of these tips so you don’t end up feeling run down, achy or prone to illness as you transition into Fall.

1. Get Outdoors

Summer afforded us many opportunities to spend time outside, but as the days grow shorter and we turn our attention back to work or stay inside because it’s getting chillier, don’t neglect the many opportunities to still enjoy the sunlight.

When it comes to the overall health and well being of your body, a lot can be said for the benefits of the outdoors. Getting Vitamin-D from the sun’s rays can help keep your immune system in good shape, and spending time outdoors naturally leads to increased movement and activity. Spending time outside can help you clear your head and relieve the stress of staying couped up indoors.

2. Keep Eating Fresh Veggies

You’ll surely be missing the bountiful harvests available at the height of summer. But don’t forget about Fall’s hearty crops that can provide variety to your diet throughout the winter. Be adventurous and incorporate some of the cold-weather crops that ripen in the fall. Replace your weekly pasta dish with an alternative made from spaghetti squash – a flavorful sauce and great seasoning can transform this inconspicuous gourd into the star of the meal.

Don’t be afraid of hearty greens and cruciferous vegetables either. Brussel Sprouts aren’t the soggy nightmares that many remember from their youth. They can be julienned, sauted and cooked any number of ways that will have even the pickiest of eaters singing their praises.

3. Outsource the Winterizing

If you are prone to a sore back or suffer from arthritis, look on craigslist or hire a teenager from the neighborhood to help with the chores that are associated with fall. There is no shame in outsourcing leaf raking and yard duty when you can pay a neighborhood kid to help out. Be overly cautious when up on rooftops winterizing swamp coolers or cleaning out gutters. A small investment in help upfront can save you the cost of sick days, medications or doctor’s visits later.

4. Avoid Autumn Sniffles

Whether it’s coming back from vacation, gearing up for the holidays or dealing with the kids back in school  the transition from summer to fall can be a stressful one. Stress leads to a weakened immune system which can increase your likelihood of catching a cold.

Take some time to get plenty of rest, take a vitamin C supplement and don’t over-schedule yourself when you realize you are beginning to feel rundown. You may think you can do it all, but one tiny cold can knock you out for a week or more. So go easy and take care yourself.

5. Stay Social

Summer provides many opportunities to socialize with our friends and family – but there is no reason it has to stop in fall. Autumn is a perfect time to hang out informally with friends and family before the manic rush of the holidays sets in. Socializing with those we care about can lower our stress levels, boost our immune system and some studies have even been shown that socializing can increase our lifespan and lower our blood pressure.

Take advantage of the lull of autumn to see friends without pressure to schedule elaborate parties or buy presents.