After months of bundling up and being cooped up inside, spring is finally upon us! As you get ready to do your annual spring cleaning, make sure your health is at the top of the To Do list.
1. Get a check up
Admit it, you’ve been putting off that annual checkup, haven’t you? Before embarking on a new diet or fitness regime, it is always a good idea to check in with your doctor first.
2. Clean out the pantry
Take a look in your pantry. Are there any items there standing between you and your goal to be a healthier you? The occasional treat is fine – just don’t keep them so close at hand! Take stock of what you are eating. Too much sugar? Large portion sizes?1 Start by replacing one sugary drink with a glass of water. Switch to smaller plates. Leave food in the kitchen instead of on the table so that you must get up for seconds.3,4 Small changes can add up to make a big difference.
This spring and summer, why not take advantage of fresh produce in your grocery store, farmer’s markets and perhaps even your own backyard garden? To keep things interesting, try for a variety of colors, textures, and flavors and choose local, organic, in-season produce whenever possible. Try to get the kids on board, too – have them pick a color before you head into grocery store and then try to find a fruit or vegetable of that color to try. Do you get a “Yuck!” response at the very sight of a green bean or carrot? Let them grow colorful (and healthy!) purple versions in their own small patch of land or in a container garden.
3. Get outside
Researchers are increasingly finding health benefits of getting into nature, including lowering blood pressure and stress and boosting the immune system.2 Lack of sun exposure during the winter months also lowers your body’s vitamin D.3 Take advantage of nicer weather and get outside to do things you enjoy. Gardening offers great health benefits, and you will spend more time doing things you enjoy so get out there and get your hands dirty!
As the weather continues to warm, why not pick up a new pair of walking shoes and hit the road? If you walk up to an hour, three times a week, make sure you get a new pair of walking shoes every five months (sooner if you walk more).2,5 Be sure to stay well-hydrated, particularly as the weather gets warmer.
5. Clean out the medicine cabinet
Spring is a good time to take stock of your medicine cabinet, too. Check for expired medications and those you no longer need. April 28 is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day which a great time to get safely dispose of those medications you no longer need. Go to https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/ to find a collection site near you.2
If you are unable to take your medications to a registered collection site, your Health Mart pharmacist is happy to answer your questions about how to safely dispose of prescriptions and other medications.
Health Mart. Caring for you and about you.
Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice. You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.
- Self: “8 Small, Easy Ways to Spring Clean Your Eating Habits.” Available at: https://www.self.com/story/spring-clean-eating-habits Accessed 3-1-18.
- Prevention: “12 Simple Ways to Spring Clean Your Health.” Available at: https://www.prevention.com/health/12-spring-updates-for-your-health-routine Accessed 3-1-18.
- U.S.News & World Report: “6 Ways to Spring Clean Your Health.” Available at: https://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2014/04/04/6-ways-to-spring-clean-your-health Accessed 3-1-18.
- Best Health: “7 Smart Ways to Spring Clean Your Eating Habits.” Available at: http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-eats/healthy-eating/7-ways-to-spring-clean-your-eating-habits/view-all/ Accessed 3-1-18.
- Prevention: “When to Get New Shoes.” Available at: https://www.prevention.com/fitness/fitness-tips/when-should-you-replace-walking-shoes Accessed 3-1-18.
Posted on Sun, April 1, 2018
by Jana Spaulding