Let’s Spring Clean Your Health!
With milder temperatures, more sun, and wildlife sprouting everywhere, the arrival of spring in and of itself can put an extra kick in your step. It’s a time of possibility, a time to take stock of the habits that might be holding you back from being who you want to be — and to form new habits that help you become a better version of yourself. Spring can be a great time to reevaluate your health and wellness routines. You may even find that resolutions made in the spring are easier to follow than ones made in the cold, bitter months.
If you want to pay your health and well-being a little extra attention this spring, but don’t know where to start, here are nine tips to get you started.
- Fill Your Plate With Fresh, In-Season Fruits and Vegetables: Spring and summer are a great time to incorporate more fresh, in-season fruits and vegetables into the diet. Warmer weather produces, like mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini, and berries, are all packed with micronutrients the body needs and thrives on. Try checking out your local farmer’s markets on the weekends.
- Be Mindful of Opportunities to Overindulge: Warmer weather often brings outdoor gatherings like picnics and barbeques, which can come with unhealthy foods like grilled and processed meats and fatty snacks. You don’t have to forgo these foods but be mindful of them. Another important precaution is to watch your alcohol intake at outdoor gatherings. Again, you don’t have to avoid it completely; moderation is important though,
- Stay Hydrated: When it’s warmer outside, your body can lose more moisture through sweating, even if you don’t feel yourself getting sweaty. Dehydration can pose serious health risks if severe — and even if you’re just mildly dehydrated, it can cause fatigue, low energy, and headaches. To help prevent dehydration, it’s important to drink enough water throughout the day.
- Get Outside and Get Moving: Getting enough physical activity every day is really important. It can be as simple as taking a walk down the block or spending some time gardening. Any activity that gets your bones and muscles moving can help.
- Soak Up the Sun: There are many benefits to getting some sunlight. Bright light exposure helps release serotonin in the body, which can boost your mood. It also helps produce vitamin D which is good for bone health and other bodily functions.
- But Do Protect Skin and Eyes From Damaging UV Rays: Even though getting a certain amount of sunlight is healthy and beneficial, too much sun exposure can damage your eyes and skin. For this reason, it’s important to use appropriate sun protection, which includes wearing sunglasses, protective clothing, and sunscreen.
- Reset Your Sleep Schedule: If dark, cold winter days have thrown your sleep schedule off track, use spring as a reset. One bad habit to break is spending lots of time in front of a computer or phone or laptop just before bed.
- Watch for Allergens (Both Indoors and Out): Springtime brings a spike in outdoor allergens like pollen, but it’s also a good time to minimize your exposure to allergens indoors, where most of us spend a lot of our time. Vacuuming and a good deep clean can help eliminate some exposure.
- Check-In With Your Doctor: Spring is a great time to make sure you’re up to date with recommended health screenings and immunizations, and to check in with your doctor to discuss any health concerns you have.