Un-be-leaf-able! The benefits of fall on and off the road
October 13, 2022
The chill in the air, the thought of sweater weather and the promise of all things pumpkin spice—reminders of fall and our affection for the season. Why do we love this season so much? It turns out that there’s some science behind why some folks consider fall to be the best season.
We’re here to share some of that science behind the season, the benefits of fall and how the season can help promote more mindful,less stressful behaviors from behind the wheel. Plus, we’ll share some fall driving tips to help you stay safe on the road.
The benefits of fall
It may not come as a surprise, but the season of fall is a favorite among many Americans. We learned from data collected by YouGov that 29 percent of Americans overall prefer an autumn climate. What’s more interesting is that in the same data, folks between the ages of 18 and 35, ranked the highest for a love of fall at 31 percent.
If autumn is a favorite time of year for a significant number of folks across the country, how are we benefiting from all that fall? Shape shared some benefits of the season that even we found surprising and worth sharing.
Pumpkin spice and everything nice. There may be more than one reason why we love fall-flavored beverages and baked goods. Nutmeg, cinnamon and pumpkin spice are all flavors we know and love about fall. Great news, they may be benefiting your health. For example, Cedars Sinai indicates that cinnamon and nutmeg can help reduce inflammation. Cinnamon may also help decrease blood sugar and cholesterol for those who have diabetes.
There’s a chill in the air. Fall offers the physical benefit of cooler temperatures. The outdoors can be particularly enjoyable during autumn. The crisp air and changing leaves are a perfect time to enjoy long hikes, bike rides or runs. This time outdoors can help relieve more stress and boost energy levels in an environment that may have been taxing in the sweltering heat of summer.
Routine is key. One last benefit of fall is the return to a more normal routine. Summer days are often filled with post-work happy hours, late evenings, lazy days and more time at the pool. When fall comes around, and routines are established, it’s crucial to incorporate regular exercise and adequate sleep into your schedule. Both sleep and exercise can be two of the best things you can do for your health. Let the fall season be your excuse to create a schedule that works to get the best of both worlds.
When autumn comes around, we may not be thinking about the physical benefits of the season. Instead, we’re thinking about the emotions, connections and overall mental well-being this time of year gives us.
As a season for mindfulness, we’ll share why the mental benefits of fall can contribute to mindfulness on the road.
A mindful season for mindful drives
Autumn can be a great time of year to reflect and renew. It may also be a season to help promote a happier frame of mind. If you think about this time of year, do you find yourself feeling more happy or mindful? Psychology Today shares three ways fall can be beneficial to your mental well-being—this, in turn, may help lead to more mindfulness and focus from behind the wheel.
What’s one word that you might associate with autumn? There are probably quite a few that come to mind, but one of the key characteristics of the season is change. The temperature drops, the leaves begin to change and days start to become shorter. These natural changes that occur during fall may be a natural time for you to think about changes in your daily life and relationships.
This reminder of change can be a great way to consider changes you can make on and off the road. For instance, making a future goal of driving less distracted and leaving your phone out of reach in the car.
Fall is another great time of year to foster mindfulness. Depending on where you live, the season can be a welcomed break from the summer heat, making it the perfect time to spend time outdoors. Time outdoors and being surrounded by natural surroundings can be the perfect segue to mindfulness.
“Nature is an amazing guide to grounding in the present moment.”
– Julianna Schroeder, a licensed professional counselor
When we spend time outdoors and practice mindfulness, we’re helping to retrain the brain to be in the here and now. To get started, we learned from Schroeder a mindfulness practice that you can try on a fall day. Here’s how to start.
Go outside—your neighborhood park, the mountains, by the lake or even your backyard.
Take account of what you see around you—the colors of the leaves, the people passing by, etc.
Observe what you can physically feel in the moment—your breath moving in and out, the firmness of the ground beneath your feet, the coolness of a breeze.
Listen to what you can hear around you—the rustling of leaves, the sound of birds flying.
Stay as long as needed.
Return to your day feeling calmer and more centered.
As you begin to feel calmer and more centered, think about how that feeling translates on the road. Staying mindful while driving can be a great way to stay stress-free and more focused. Mindfulness on the road starts with being aware and paying attention to what you’re doing or what’s around you. For example, putting your phone on silent and out of reach or noticing the road is wet and slowing down.
Finally, as we consider the mental well-being benefits of fall, we’ll mention that this time of year is a great time for traditions and an opportunity to renew connections. We’re not just talking about Thanksgiving—every fall, we have the opportunity to visit the same pumpkin patch or group of friends for a football game.
Social connections can be great for mental and emotional health. Fall traditions can help strengthen social bonds, create shared memories and build a sense of continuity. These fall memories are associated with specific times in our lives, which can make us the happiest.
Benefits of fall, all year long
Autumn is a great time to reflect and renew, bringing ample benefits into your life. It’s also a time to gather all we need to go through winter and beat those wintertime blues. Because the benefits of fall bring a sense of mindfulness and renewed motivation to change, it can be an incredible opportunity to apply it on the road.
At HiRoad, we celebrate those who do the right thing while driving. When you’re mindful of your actions from behind the wheel (driving at a safe speed, commuting without distractions), we recognize it and reward you with monthly savings on your insurance bill.
So with the changing leaves that surround this season—let’s change for the better, together with HiRoad.The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with HiRoad®. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. HiRoad is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. HiRoad makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.
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