Spring Clean Your Health
9 Tips On How To Spring Clean Your Health
Anyone else get a little extra kick in their step with the arrival of spring? Spring is a great time to rethink your diet, physical activity, sleep routine, and much more.
Your healthful spring cleaning should also include giving your health and wellness routines a once over. You may even find that resolutions made in springtime are easier to follow than the ones you try to implement in the cold, bitter winter 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!
9 Tips to Spring Clean Your Health!
1. 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 produce like; mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini, and berries, are all packed with micronutrients the body needs and thrives on.
2. Be Mindful of Opportunities to Overindulge
Warmer weather often brings outdoor gatherings like picnics and barbecues, which can come with unhealthy foods like grilled and processed meats and fatty snacks. You don’t have to forgo these foods all together, but look for leaner meat and poultry options and avoid fried snacks and fatty dips when you can to help reduce your intake of artery-clogging unhealthy fats.
3. 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 take proactive steps to drink enough water throughout the day, such as by keeping a water bottle handy at all times.
4. 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.
Do we reap extra benefits though from activity done outside? Of course! Getting outside can boost vitamin D levels, thanks to the sun (just be sure to keep reading until the tip on wearing sunscreen below). And if you’re walking or running on uneven terrain, it can engage more muscles and improve your balance compared with moving on a flat surface.
5. Soak Up the Sun
There are many benefits to getting some sunlight (provided you’re being diligent about using sunscreen). Exposure to sunlight also helps the skin produce vitamin D, which is good for bone health and other functions in the body. And remember, even if you’re walking or hiking in the shade or on a cloudy day, there’s still going to be plenty of light to stimulate your mood.
6. 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.
7. 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. Other ways to clean up your pre-sleep routine include: not exercising or eating large meals within two hours before bedtime, avoiding alcohol for at least four hours before bed, and avoiding caffeine in the afternoon. And definitely do get up at the same time each day — ideally with exposure to light right away. Consistently waking up at the same time day after day gets your body and that routine — and it becomes easier to stick to.
8. 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. In other words - spring clean in your house. If you experience outdoor allergies, it’s a good idea to reduce your effective exposure level by using a nasal saline solution after spending time outside. Saline sprays are available over-the-counter in stores, or you can make your own and use a device like a neti pot to flush out allergens from your nasal passages.
9. 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. The benefit of being in regular contact with your doctor is that your provider will be familiar with your health history if you do get sick at some other point throughout the year.
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