With warmer weather, more sun, and wildlife popping up everywhere, Spring could help put a little pep in your step. Spring is a time of growth and cleaning. Spring cleaning isn’t just for your house. Springtime is a great time to also reset and clean up your health. Katerina Nicole Christiansen, M.D., an associate physician and health science clinical professor at University of California Davis Health, states, “Spring can be a really good time to reevaluate.” This could be anything, but a lot of times, our health needs a cleansing after those long, cold, dreary winter months.
Here are some tips to help you to spring clean your health.
Eat more fresh, in-season fruits and veggies. Spring and summer are a great time to incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet. With warmer weather, comes more fresh fruits and veggies; such as, mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini, asparagus, and berries. All of these foods are packed with micronutrients that your body needs. With warmer weather, farmer’s markets are also opening back up. Visiting farmer’s markets are a great way to get these colorful foods for spring.
Be mindful about overindulging. With warmer weather, comes more gatherings outside. With outside gatherings, we are more likely to eat unhealthy snacks and processed foods. When joining friends and family for barbecues, look for leaner meats or poultry choices and try to avoid fried snacks and fatty dips. Also, limiting your alcohol intake while outdoors is important. You don’t have to give all of this up completely, but moderation is so important. For women, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends one drink a day and for men, the suggestion is two drinks.
Stay hydrated! When it’s warmer outside, our bodies tend to lose more water due to sweating. Dehydration can cause many health risks, even if just slightly dehydrated. It can lead to cramps, fatigue, headaches, and more. The best way to fight dehydration is by having a water bottle close at all times. Being hydrated can also help with overeating. If you drink a glass of water before you eat, it can help with feeling full.
Get outside and get moving. Whether it’s taking a walk around the block or gardening, getting outside is so important. Our bodies need vitamin D and being in the sun can help boost those levels. Any type of physical activity that gets your bones and muscles moving is really good for you.
Soak up the sun. Christiansen states, “Bright light exposure helps release serotonin in the body, which can boost your mood.” During the spring, there may be cloudy days, but even during those cloudy days, there is still enough light to help stimulate your your mood.
Protect your skin and eyes from harmful UV rays. Even though getting direct sunlight is helpful for your health, it can also be harmful. Too much sun exposure can lead to many health issues, including cancer. It is very important that you protect your skin and eyes from these harmful, damaging rays. There are many options for UVA and UVB protection. Wearing clothes with built-in sun protection is a good option for body parts that are easy to cover. Also, wearing a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 to 50 is the best option.
Reset your sleep schedule. Dark and cold months may have an effect on some people’s sleep schedules. If this is you, springtime is a really good time to get back on track. Some ways to help get back on track would be to stay off of electronics right before bed. Computers, cellphones, and laptops keep your mind awake and aware, making it difficult to sleep. Other things to do to help reset your sleep is to not eat a big meal or exercise two hours prior to going to bed. Also, waking up at the same time daily could help get your sleep patterns regulated.
Watch for indoor and outdoor allergens. Spring allergies effect so many people. If this is you, getting a good saline spray for your nose could help. With the increase in pollen levels, using a nasal spray is a good way to flush those allergens out after coming inside. A good way to help with getting rid of indoor allergens is to do a good spring cleaning for your house. Open the windows, open the doors, and clean. Another way to help control your allergies is to pay attention to the pollen count daily. If you are sensitive to pollen levels, make sure that you are not spending too much time outside if the pollen levels are high.
Check-in with your doctor. Spring is a good time to go into your doctor for a yearly physical. It’s always a good idea to go over your list of medications and for yearly screenings, such as cancer screenings. It is always a good idea to have a good relationship with your primary care physician.
9 Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Health. everydayhealth.com (2021, March 15) Retrieved April 28, 2022, from https://www.everydayhealth.com/wellness/tips-for-spring-cleaning-your-health/