Spring is the perfect time to rethink your diet, exercise, sleep routine, and more.
The warmer weather is a good reminder to go to the market or the grocery store to stock up on seasonal fruits and vegetables.
With milder temperatures, more sunshine, and wildlife sprouting up everywhere, the arrival of spring can in itself give you a boost. It’s a time of possibility, a time to take stock of habits that may be holding you back from being who you want to be, and to form new habits that will help you become a better version of yourself. Spring is a time for reevaluation. This includes reviewing your health and wellness habits. You may even find that resolutions made in the spring are easier to follow than those you try to implement during the bitter cold winter months.
If you’re looking to pay a little more attention to your health and wellness this spring, but aren’t sure where to start, here are nine tips to get you started.
1. Fill your plate with fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables
Spring and summer are ideal times to incorporate more fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables into your diet. Warm season produce, such as mushrooms, peppers, zucchini and berries, is full of micronutrients that the body needs and nourishes. Try to visit farmers’ markets and buy organic produce when possible, especially fruits and vegetables that are eaten whole. Try to choose healthy fats from whole foods and products, such as avocados, nuts and seeds, rather than refined oils and fried foods.
2. Be aware of opportunities to overindulge in food
Warmer temperatures often mean outdoor gatherings, such as picnics and barbecues, which can be accompanied by unhealthy foods such as grilled and processed meats and fatty snacks. Many barbecued foods are very greasy. You don’t have to give up these foods, but you can seek out leaner meats and poultry and avoid fried snacks and fatty sauces when you can, to reduce your intake of unhealthy fats. clog the arteries.
Another important precaution is to watch your alcohol intake at outdoor gatherings. Again, it is not necessary to completely avoid alcohol. Moderation is important. Limit your consumption to one drink per day if you are a woman and two drinks if you are a man (fewer drinks being a healthier choice).
3. Stay hydrated
When it’s warmer outside, your body can lose more moisture by sweating, even if you don’t feel yourself sweating. Dehydration can pose serious health risks if severe. Even if you’re only mildly dehydrated, it can lead to fatigue, low energy, and headaches. To prevent dehydration, it’s important to take proactive steps to drink enough water throughout the day, such as keeping a water bottle handy at all times. Another potential benefit of drinking enough water is that it can help you avoid overeating. Drinking a glass of water before eating can sometimes calm certain hunger signals.
4. Go out and move
It is very important to get enough physical activity every day. It can be a simple walk around the neighborhood or a bit of gardening. Any activity that moves bones and muscles is beneficial.
Does the activity practiced outside have additional advantages?
We are genetically programmed to enjoy outdoor activities. It appeals to all the senses and has a strong effect on mood and self-esteem. Getting outside can boost vitamin D levels, thanks to the sun (be sure to keep reading until the tip on using sunscreen below). And if you’re walking or running on uneven ground, it can engage more muscles and improve your balance compared to a flat surface.
5. Enjoy the sun
There are many benefits to exposing yourself to the sun (as long as you use sunscreen). Exposure to bright light helps release serotonin in the body, which can improve mood. Exposure to sunlight also helps the skin produce vitamin D, which is beneficial for bone health and other body functions. And remember that even if you are walking or hiking in the shade or on cloudy days, there will still be plenty of light to boost your mood.
6. But protect your skin and eyes from harmful UV rays
While some amount of sunlight is healthy and beneficial, too much sun exposure can damage your eyes and skin. That’s why it’s important to use proper sun protection, which includes wearing sunglasses, protective clothing, and sunscreen.
Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours, especially if you sweat or swim. Use a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen (that blocks both UVA and UVB rays) with an SPF of 30 to 50. Sunscreens with a higher SPF often contain a higher concentration of chemicals which can irritate your skin but provide little additional sun protection.
7. Reset your sleep schedule
If the dark, cold days of winter have disrupted your sleep schedule, take advantage of spring to reset it. A bad habit to break is spending a lot of time in front of a computer, phone, or laptop right before bed. These devices activate your brain and make you think it’s time to wake up.
Other ways to clean up your pre-sleep routine include: not exercising or eating large meals within two hours of bedtime, avoiding alcohol at least four hours before bedtime, and avoiding caffeine in the afternoon. It is essential to get up at the same time every day, ideally by exposing yourself to light immediately. Waking up regularly at the same time day after day allows the body to get used to this routine, which is then easier to stick to. If you have trouble falling or staying asleep: “Keeping your sleeping area really dark and cool can help,” Christiansen points out.
8. Watch for allergens (inside and out)
Spring is synonymous with the peak of outdoor allergens like pollen, but it’s also a good time to minimize your exposure to allergens indoors, where most of us spend most of our time. For allergies, try to spring clean your home by vacuuming carpets and rugs and cleaning dust thoroughly. If you suffer from outdoor allergies, it is advisable to reduce your effective exposure level by using nasal saline solution after spending time outdoors. Saline sprays are available over-the-counter in stores, or you can make them yourself and use a device such as a neti pot to flush allergens out of your nasal passages. If you suffer from allergies, it is very important to pay attention to air quality, both in terms of pollen and pollution. Try to stay indoors if the air quality is really bad.
9. Consult your doctor
Spring is the perfect time to make sure you’re up to date with recommended health checks and vaccinations, and to see your doctor to discuss any health concerns. It is important to have an annual medical examination, not only if you suffer from a chronic illness, but also to stay healthy. This annual visit can be an opportunity to get screened for different types of cancer and heart disease.
A few tips for your annual appointment: Review your medication list with your doctor, both to make sure the medications prescribed are working as they should and to see if any are still needed.
The advantage of being in regular contact with your doctor is that he will know your medical history if you fall ill at any other time of the year.