Tips For Spring Cleaning Your Health
Goodbye, long winter! Birds are chirping. Flowers are blooming. Love is in the air. When spring hits, it’s hard to feel down in the dumps. Add longer days and the return of short sleeves to the mix, and you just might find yourself wishing that spring would last forever. Think beyond the disinfectants, sponges, and sprays associated with Spring cleaning — it's time to give your health a seasonal makeover. From your workouts to your diet, here are six ways to bring the focus of the season to your body and mind:
If you can't muster another treadmill run, it's time to exercise in the great outdoors. In a UK-based study, participants reported that exercising outside was both more enjoyable and more satisfying. Plus, participants said they were more likely to exercise again — another indicator that getting your heart rate up outside the gym feels more beneficial. Take advantage of the increasing days and (slightly) warmer weather and move your workouts outside. Hit the streets for run, jog, or stroll. Why not pull your yoga mat onto your patio and down dog in the fresh air or jump rope at the park?
Clean Up Your Diet
Take advantage of all the healthy produce coming into season, like asparagus and strawberries, and clean up you diet. Focus on eating whole foods — fruits, veggies, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins. No matter how you approach it, aim to eat at least five servings of fruit and veg daily.
Clean a Little
If you're inspired to clean, take advantage of the productive mood. Dust, mop, and vacuum to rid your home of the wintry dust build up that often accompanies running the heat 24/7. There are many places people forget: blades of ceiling fans, heating vents, tops of books resting on your lovely bookshelves, and light fixtures. (Bonus: although vigorous cleaning might not counts as strength training, all that movement burns calories and helps add up to your total daily burn.)
Check in with You PCP
If you haven't done so already, Spring is a great time to get your medical history checked out. Make an appointment with your ob-gyn, dentist and optometrist. Consider getting a physical.
Get Out in the Sun
Nutrition expert Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, and author of Eating in Color, says that come spring, most of us are in a vitamin D deficit. “It’s smart to get a small amount of unprotected sun exposure — say 10 minutes a day — in order to let your body produce the vitamin (apply sunscreen after that),” she says. “Vitamin D is linked to helping prevent everything from osteoporosis, to heart disease and certain types of cancer. And no one can argue the fact that sunshine just makes you feel awesome.”
Put Yourself on Your To Do List
Spring is the perfect time to re-evaluate your habits. “Do you consistently put yourself and your health last on the daily line-up?” asks Dr. Jannell MacAulay, a wellness educator, performance specialist, and lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force. When you’re always putting other people’s needs ahead of your own, your performance as a parent, professional and leader can suffer. To break this bad pattern, she offers this advice: “Put on your own oxygen mask first!” You don’t need to overhaul your whole life to get results. “Maybe start your day with two deep breaths, or schedule time for a quick workout or a walk with a friend. Or just take time to make yourself a healthy lunch. Taking care of yourself is a great way to increase performance and overall well being,” MacAulay says.
Then after all that, come by the office for an adjustment with Dr. Gene Ross to officially reset your system for spring!