If you live somewhere that experiences changing weather with changing seasons, then you might be like us, ready to kiss winter goodbye and sprint into spring. As we come out of a long winter though, our health might need some tending to. In episode 52, we share ways to spring clean your health and routine.
Start spring by shaking off the effects of a long winter. for instance, one effect of winter for many is a lack of sunlight and therefore a decrease in Vitamin D production. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for healthy bones, immune function, hormone balance and many other vital body functions. Cooler weather also means more time spent inside...cooking...then baking…then opening one, ok two, bottles of wine. You get the picture. We tend to eat more comfort foods in the winter! And if you do live an area that’s warm in the winter, the frequency of holidays can lead to these same results.
The end of winter and beginning of spring also marks the last true “candy” holiday with Easter and Passover. That means the candy has been flowing since Halloween, through Christmas, into Valentines Day, all the way up to now, which leads us to tip one.
Tip 1: Clean out your cabinets, refrigerator and freezer. It’s time to get rid of expired food, candy leftovers and old, frozen desserts. Make room for healthy foods in the pantry like bulk whole grains, nuts, beans, and the good peanut butter (like the kind you crank out at Fresh Thyme). Prep and freeze grilled chicken for spring salads which make a really quick and healthy lunch or dinner. Think about your medicine cabinet too. There are likely expired allergy, cold and pain relievers. Restock on those you know you will need, like Claritin or whichever allergy medication you prefer. Do some Pinterest research to find organization tips for your kitchen or check out the NEAT method.
Tip 2: Greet the sun with open arms and SPF. Check your daily moisturizer and make sure it has SPF and that it’s not expired. Men need to think about this too! As your driving with the windows down with that arm out, it’s getting sun. If you take your cardio outside during the day, sun exposure there too. Ideally you will spend some time outside in the sun to help boost your vitamin D levels.
Tip 3: Get moving. We all do it, especially when the weather is less than ideal. Take advantage of longer days with a morning walk to get back in the habit of exercise. The worst feeling is waiting until Memorial Day to work on that “summer bod” and kicking yourself for not starting earlier in the spring. We also both like 1st Phorm’s Opti-Greens to reduce belly bloat. That combined with exercise and plenty of water helps the body de-winterize.
Tip 4: Schedule your annual healthcare visit which for most might been an annual physical or wellness visit, dental cleaning and vision screening. You can also use this time to schedule other things into your calendar for the year like classes you want to take, goals and check-in dates, family and friend get-togethers and meal prep time.
Tip 5: Get dirty outside and get clean inside. By that we mean, go outside and dig in the dirt, plant flowers or get your vegetable garden started. It’s therapeutic, productive and keeps you active. Inside your home, clean out dust and allergens. A George Washington University study found that household dust contained 45 different chemicals. Wash all linens and blankets, and don’t forget those throw blankets too. According to the American College of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, the greatest number of dust mites live in the bedroom. All smooth surfaces, including ceiling fan blades and window coverings should be wiped with a cloth to get rid of dust.
Take these tips and make your plan. As Emily mentioned, list your priorities, needs and wants to organize your spring health cleaning.