Health Tips To Jump Start Spring
Spring is the season of renewal and new beginnings, and after a long winter spent indoors, our bodies and overall health may be ready for a fresh start. When the weather changes outside it signals a shift in our bodies. Warmer temperatures seem to affect our appetites, sleep habits and mood almost overnight, and may have our brains rushing to keep up.
As seasons change, we have the choice to work with nature or against it (spoiler alert: nature will likely win). Embrace seasonal changes by taking time to evaluate your overall health, and make this new season a time for adjusting your diet, habits and activities to support your well-being and happiness.
You don’t have to overhaul your lifestyle to jump start a new season with fresh energy and vitality. Follow these simple health tips and take one small step at a time in the direction of your best health. As always, before making any changes to your lifestyle, please consult your doctor.
There’s no escaping the value of a good night of sleep and the lasting benefits of regularly logging enough Zzz’s. When we’re sleep-deprived, everything suffers, including our brains, appetites and fitness ability. While daylight savings time may send our sleep rhythms to the wind, we can act accordingly to ensure we still get the rest we need. Make sure to go to bed at the same time every night, and begin waking at the same time each morning. When you can, use afternoon breaks for a light nap to help you recover lost sleep at night. Use blackout curtains to keep the sun from robbing you of early morning sleep, and avoid sugar, caffeine or alcohol before bed. If you can, try to turn off all electronics at least one hour before going to sleep, and choose to read quietly or listen to relaxing music just before you settle in for the night. All of these choices will effectively work to get your sleep schedule back on track and help you sleep better and longer, night after night.
There’s simply no way of getting around the impact that your diet plays in your overall health. In winter, our diets tend toward heavier, warmer foods that nourish us on long, cold days. As temperatures change, so will our appetites, taste buds and nutritional needs. Make sure to incorporate as many fresh, raw fruits and vegetables into your meals as possible, and avoid processed foods and sugar. Try to stick to whole grains for increased fiber, and choose foods rich in omega 3 fats, like wild salmon, avocado and raw nuts for increased brain power.
There’s no better way to keep your joints, bones and muscles healthy than by keeping active and making exercise a priority. While winter may have made it difficult to get out for relaxing walks or bike rides, spring almost seems to beg us to lace up and head outdoors. Set exercise goals to keep you moving, every day, but don’t overthink it. Staying active and getting exercise can be as simple as taking short walks around your neighborhood once a day, and whether you move or a little or a lot, you’re sure to notice the difference.
Spring brings with it warmer weather and brighter, longer days in the sun that require us to take extra special care of our skin. Our skin is our body’s largest organ and our first barrier against the outside world. Make sure to protect it by using sunblock, wearing hats and covering up when in the sun for long periods of time. Drink water abundantly and choose a safe and effective daily moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated. By the time spring turns into white-hot summer, you’ll certainly be glad you did.
Winter may have had you hibernating at home and taking advantage of quiet days to catch up on reading alone. Now that spring is here, make your relationships a priority and spend time with the ones you love. Our relationships help us to maintain our emotional health, manage stress and remember ourselves during good and bad times. Stress, loneliness and depression can wreak havoc on our bodies and have a devastating impact on our overall health. Reach out and strengthen your bonds to your community and your village and create a network to support your health for years to come.