Exercise & Nutrition, Self-care
There’s something about spring that brings a sense of renewed hope and possibility. With the new season upon us, it’s a great time to re-evaluate your health goals and set a plan to put your best foot forward. Here are some simple steps to recommit and embrace a healthier you.
Going outside for a walk, bike ride, or hike is a great way to support your physical and mental health. We know that cardio gives us endorphins, and endorphins make us happy. Research also shows that the vitamin D we gain from sunlight can boost serotonin levels, which can help regulate mood and reduce depression.
According to the KonMari cleaning method, if it doesn’t “spark joy,” you should let it go. This simple approach to decluttering your space can help you to eliminate things that could be weighing you down. Getting rid of excess physical things can have mental health benefits by helping you feel calmer and more in control.
Eating foods that are fresh in season is a natural way to nourish your body and support your overall health. Many fruits and veggies reach their peak ripeness in spring, including apricots, strawberries, cherries, grapefruit, and asparagus. If you have access to a local farmer’s market or specialty grocery store, you may opt to try fresh produce that you haven’t tried before like garlic scapes, kohlrabi, nettles, and ramps.
You’ve heard it before, but staying hydrated is one of the easiest and most effective ways to support your health. Fun fact: your body is made up of about 70% water, so drinking enough water is key to your health. If you’re finding it hard to get your recommended daily water intake, try drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning when you wake up and before bed. If you don’t like the taste of water, you can also try investing in a water filter or infusing lemon or cucumber in your water to give it a spa-like feel.
For those of us working from home, the conference call fatigue is real. If you’re stuck on back-to-back virtual meetings, try taking a call on the road. A walking meeting can help re-energize your brain and is a healthier alternative to sitting all day.
While the sun’s rays may not seem as strong as they do in the summer months, the truth is you can still be exposed to damaging UVB rays during cloudier days. It’s important to still wear SPF on your face or other areas exposed to the sun during spring.
The flowers are blooming and gardens are looking lush, but unfortunately that means outdoor allergens like pollen are also abundant. Using a nasal saline spray can help flush out your nasal passages from these harmful irritants. If you suffer from more severe allergic conditions like asthma, you may want to consider limiting time outdoors and keeping a close eye on daily air quality readings.
With more time spent at home, it’s easy to be glued to our computer, TV, and phone screens all day. Too much screen time can lead to trouble sleeping, chronic neck and back problems, and anxiety. Spring is the perfect time to practice limiting screen time and instead find time to connect with loved ones or enjoy the outdoors. Many smart phones now allow you track your daily screen time, so you can make efforts to reduce it.
In today’s busy world, we’re so often focused on what’s next on our to-do list, that we don’t always take the time to pause and acknowledge what we have accomplished. Journaling is a great way to reflect on what you’re thankful for both personally and professionally. Acknowledging these moments of gratitude can lead to more positive thinking and feelings of satisfaction.
If you’ve been putting off seeing your healthcare provider, now is a great time to carve out time for yourself to be proactive about your health. If you haven’t received your annual well-woman exam, it’s not too late to schedule one!
As women, we spend so much time caring for others in our lives, that we may forget to care for ourselves. This spring don’t forget to find some time for you. And of course, your Axia Women’s Health care team is always here for you to help you cultivate the healthiest version of yourself!