Just the arrival of this lovely season can give you a little boost and a spring in your step. The milder temperatures, additional daylight hours and some sunshine is a great opportunity to improve your health and get rid of any bad habits. Spring is the ideal time to improve your health and wellbeing and it’s proven to be a lot easier to implement at this time of year than it would be during the cold, miserable winter months.
If you think it’s about time you gave your health a little bit of attention, take a look at our health tips below to give yourself a kick start.
Eating a well balanced, healthy diet is key to staying well. Your diet should include a wide range of foods including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products. Spring offers a whole host of seasonal fruits and vegetables that are packed with nutrients. Top tip - fill half of your plate at mealtimes with fruit and vegetables.
Drinking plenty of fluids is probably the most important thing you can do to stay well but many of us still don’t drink enough. When the weather gets warmer, our bodies can sweat more, meaning we lose moisture. Dehydration is a real health risk and even a mild case can lead to headaches, low energy and fatigue. Everyone should drink plenty of water throughout the day and keeping a refillable drinking bottle nearby is a great way to remind you to drink throughout the day. Drinking water can also prevent overeating. If you are not a fan of plain old water, try adding berries or cucumber, lemon or lime slices to add a bit of flavour.
Take advantage of the health benefits that the spring sunshine can provide. Exposure to the bright sunlight releases serotonin which boosts your mood. Sunlight also helps your skin to produce Vitamin D which is vital for your bone health. Even if it isn’t a particularly sunny day, the natural light is enough to give you the stimulating boost you need.
It’s really important to be active every day. Even just a 30 minute walk around the block a few times a week or some gardening will help to get your muscles and bones moving. If possible, leave the car at home and walk, or park a little further away and complete your journey on foot. If you catch the bus, get off a stop or two before and walk the rest of the way. Every little bit of exercise helps and you can always build up to something bigger.
Whilst sunlight is good for you, too much exposure can be damaging to your skin and eyes. Though it may not be as hot as summer, even the spring sun can be dangerous so it's important to cover your exposed skin, use sunscreen, wear long sleeves and a sun hat. Many people forget about eye protection but UV light can be detrimental to your sight. Sunglasses that offer both UVA & UVB protection are a must, especially if you spend a lot of time outside.
Sometimes, the winter months can control our sleeping habits and the spring is a good time to reset and make sure that you get enough rest. Try to avoid screen time just before bed, electronic devices make your brain switch on and wake up.
It’s also a good idea to avoid eating a large meal or exercising within two hours before bedtime and steer clear of caffeine later in the afternoon. Keeping to a routine of waking at a set time each day, preferably with exposure to natural light, can make it easier for your body and your mind. If getting to sleep is problematic it’s a good idea to ensure that your bedroom is dark and cool.
Did you know…
The springtime leads to a spike in both indoor and outdoor allergens. Spring cleaning your home by deep cleaning rugs, carpets and dust can only be a positive thing. If you are allergic to pollen there are various anti-histamines and products available that can help to reduce your effective exposure and alleviate symptoms.
We hope these tips will help you to make the most of the spring months to lead a healthier lifestyle. Once you develop good habits you’ll be able to carry them through for the rest of the year. If you do have any health concerns, make an appointment to see your GP.