7 Ways to Put Spring into Your Health Guest Post from University of Tennessee Medical Center
7 Ways to Put Spring into Your Health
With the change of season comes the impulse to clean and replace the old with the new. But spring doesn’t just have to be about cleaning and reorganizing – it’s also a great way to start healthy new habits and break the old. Here are a few tips to get a head start in your spring health!
Start an Exercise Routine – The weather is warm and the days are longer which makes it a perfect combination to get active outside. The American Heart Association recommends that individuals do moderate exercise for at least 150 minutes per week, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise.
Revamp Your Diet with Fresh Fruits and Vegetables – Take advantage of the variety of vegetables available during spring. A healthy diet includes adding vegetables and fruit every day. Vegetables like broccoli, green beans, leafy greens, zucchini, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, and tomatoes are low in calories and high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Try to eat about 3 to 5 servings every day. Fruit is also a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. You should try to eat about 2 to 3 servings of fruit each day. It goes without being said that its OK to indulge in the occasional ice cream cone. Although, frozen yogurt would be a healthier alternative.
Drink More Water – As the heat kicks into high gear it is harder to stay hydrated and more important to drink more water. Drink plenty of water before going outside and have plenty on-hand to stay hydrated. If you aren’t a fan of water, try one of our recipes for Cucumber Water—it makes a great party beverage for those hot days!
Cut Out the Night Cap – If one of your habits is having a drink before bed, or having a few at dinner, you may want to reconsider your next glass of Merlot. Alcohol not only causes dehydration, but is also associated with sleep disorders, high blood pressure and certain types of cancer. It is recommended that women limit themselves to one drink per day, and men up to two alcoholic beverages each day.
Check In for a Check Up – You may have chalked up some symptoms and illnesses to the winter blues, but now that it is spring, its time to get back to the doctor for a head-to-toe check up! A periodic well-exam for all ages is not just about good medical care, but it also gives you the opportunity to learn more about beneficial health habits, counseling and community support services as well as an overall view of the best ways to take care of yourself and your family for a lifetime. Your doctor will let you know how often they need to test for high blood pressure, diabetes, other diseases, and cancer screenings.
Protect Your Skin – Its going to get hot, the sun is shining, and your skin needs protection. Not only do men and women need to regularly moisturize their skin, but also protect it from the harsh rays of the sun. If you’re outside, make sure to use a sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher that protects against UVA and UVB rays. It doesn’t hurt to throw on a pair of sunglasses and hat as well!
Renew Relationships – It’s time to get out of the house and visit with your friends and family. Research has shown that good, strong relationships benefit your overall health and happiness. Spend the day with people you love, and schedule regular outings to enjoy the great spring weather.
Always speak with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or exercise regimen.