Tips to Prepare You for Spring
With spring right around the corner, it is time to shed the winter doldrums – and any bad health habits you might have picked up. Here are some tips to get your body and mind recharged for the new season.
Renew Your Resolutions
Many New Year’s resolutions involve making or breaking habits. Aside from a lack of effective strategy and willpower, there is another reason why most of these resolutions fail. Studies have shown that because the new year begins in the heart of winter when the days are short, and the weather is cold, and nature is not doing much of anything besides sleep, not many people have the energy to shake things up. Pushing power and renewal belongs to spring. It is when nature uses all that stored winter energy to burst forth and become more active. As the birds outside become more social and sprouts break through barriers, so should you.
Get in the Garden
Not only does it make your landscaping pretty, but gardening also burns approximately 250 to 350 calories an hour. For the most benefit, try gardening around three times a week for an hour at a time. Anything that makes you sweat qualifies as exercise, such as, mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, or hauling mulch. Rotate tasks every 20 minutes or so to give all your major muscle groups a workout and to avoid overstraining one set of muscles.
Start Thinking About Allergy Season
If you know you are prone to sneezes and sniffles as the weather warms up, not is the time to stock up on allergy medications.
Spring Clean Your Makeup Drawer
Like most products, cosmetics expire. So while you are cleaning out your medicine cabinet, toss out that tube of mascara, that concealer container, and any other makeup you’ve had so long you can’t remember when you bought it. This way, you will be able to minimize your risk for eye infections or bacteria-induced breakouts. While you are at it clean out your makeup, make sure to clean your brushes as well. Most people wait three times the length to clean their brushes than that should. Once a month is recommended but no longer than three months, to avoid infections, acne, and other skin issues.
As the time changes, and the sunrise gets earlier, hauling yourself out of bed early and getting outside can help boost your level of vitamin D, most of which we get from sunlight on our skin. Vitamin D contributes to keeping bones and teeth healthy, and a lack of it can lead to rickets in children and increase risk of bone problems and fractures in older adults. Studies have shown that people who wake up earlier are healthier than those night owls who snooze the mornings away, and will also help get a leg up on symptoms of depression.
Let your kids get dirty, too. Getting dirty can be exposure to common bacteria, and common bacteria are good for you. When they routinely inhabit our bodies, they can produce vitamins and proteins we need to help make our immune and gastrointestinal system work.
Hydrate from the Inside Out
The average adult human body is 50-65 percent water. You would think this would leave us sufficiently hydrated, but that is rarely the case. Your body required extra food and liquid to stay hydrated. Dehydration can shrink brain tissues and damage concentration. Keeping your body hydrated can deliver several health benefits, including healthier skin. A few ways to keep your body hydrated from the inside out:
- Drink Lots of Water
- Eat fresh fruit and vegetables
- Eat healthy fats
- Cut back on salty and fried foods
- Take supplements
Boost Your Brain
Use the new season to assess your diet and ensure you are getting enough of the right foods to aid brain and cognitive functions. Top “smart foods” include blueberries for antioxidants and vitamin C, black currants for vitamin C, oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines for omega-3 fatty acids. Nuts and seeds for vitamin E and wholegrain foods such as brown pasta and granary bread to give the brain a steady supply of energy through slow glucose release are also contributes to boosting your brain.
The Flavors of Springtime
Springtime is also a time to support your Liver. Trying adding some sour foods like vinegar and lemon into your dishes, also think about pungent flavors. Sprucing up your meals with mint, spring onions, ginger, horseradish, mustard, and pepper will leave you feeling bright and invigorated. Fend off the brisk spring winds with gently warming herbs like fennel, oregano, rosemary, caraway, dill and bay leaves which will keep you thriving until the summer heats hits full-force.
Lighten Up Your Food
Spring is the time for expanding energy, not storing it. Therefore, heavier, slow-cooked winter meals should increasingly be replaced with briskly-cooked fresh ingredients. Instead of eating root vegetables, try eating more of the veggies that are popping up above the soil like beans and spring onions. Replace soups and roasts with lightly steamed or stir-fried ingredients that still have a bit of their crunch.
Think Global, Eat Local
Some of the healthiest vegetables come into season in spring. Learn more about you local community agriculture; you will gain access to in-season fresh vegetables, fruits, flowers, and eggs while local farmers get a guaranteed income base. Asparagus is high in protein, low in calories and rich source of various vitamins. It contains high levels of potassium, which may help to control blood pressure. Spinach is rich in iron, which is key to helping red blood cells transport oxygen around the body. It is an excellent source of many vitamins, including vitamin K, which can contribute to maintaining bone and cartilage. A lack of vitamin K has been linked to osteoarthritis.
If you have joint pain or arthritis, staying active can stop symptoms worsening and help protect against osteoporosis by keeping joints moving and ensuring muscles around the area remain high. But self-management also means balancing rest with activity and not overdoing it. Exercising in the morning and warm baths or hot water bottles can reduce stiffness, while ice packs can reduce any swelling. Breathing exercises, meditation, acupuncture, and massages may all have a role to play.
Walk Every Day
Not only will it give you a chance to stop and smell the Blue Columbines; a walk will also get you away from your desk and provide that moderate exercise doctors keep recommending. Start walking you children to school, make part of your journey to work by foot or go for a stroll in your lunch hour. Regular walking help reduces the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, stroke, and some cancers. It helps people lose weight and feel less stressed, and don’t forget it is FREE. When spring arrives, there is no excuse not to walk. Trying to step 10,000 steps a day can burn up to 400 calories and says most of us walk up to 4,000 steps a day anyways.
Clean and Change out Your Bedding and Pillows
Some experts estimate that, after five years, up to 10 percent of a pillow’s weight is made up of allergy or asthma-provoking bacteria, such as pollen, fungi, mold, and dust mites. This is disgusting, yes, but taking steps to allergy-proof your pillows with protective covers that seal out allergens, and wash your pillowcase and bed sheets with hot water weekly.
Trade Your Flip-Flops for Foot-Friendly Shoes
Each year, as summer approaches, experts warn against those rubbery thongs. While convenient, they are flimsy, making wearers more susceptible to injuries like stubbed toes, rolled or sprained ankles, tendinitis, blistering, arch pain, and stress fractures.
Wear Sunglasses or a Wide-Brimmed Hat
Many of us may soon be reaching for such accessories to make a fashion statement, but doctors also advise doing so on sunny days to protect your eyes. UV rays can burn the eyes as well as the sin and skin cancer can affect the eyelids and area around the eyes. Long-term exposure to sunlight also increases the risk of a type of cataract and is linked to growths on the surface of the sys. A wide-brimmed hat can reduce the number of UV rays that reach your face and eyes. Good sunglasses should have the CE Mark, a UV 400 label or state that they offer 100pc UV protection.