Spring Clean Your Health Routine

By Ellen G. Goldman

WIth the recent spring weather, it is easy to leave the cold, snowy winter in the past. We are all eager to put our heavy coats and boots away, and pull out our lightweight and brighter apparel. Cleaning out our closets and homes is a tradition for most in April, but I also think it’s a great time to spring-clean our businesses and our health routine.

So hopefully the day you read this the sun is shiningand the temperature’s warm.  So pull out your calendar and schedule some time to implement some of the tips to Spring Clean Your Health Routine!

Shake up your exercise routine.  If you have been sticking to the exact same exercise routine all winter, you might notice you’re not progressing and perhaps boredom has set in.  To continue to increase fitness capacity, you must periodically change up your routine.  Try a new class at the gym or an outdoor boot camp.   Swap the treadmill or stationary bike for walking or cycling outside.

Add seasonal fruits and vegetables to your daily diet. At your local farmer’s market or supermarket, you’ll notice a whole crop of produce that wasn’t available a few weeks ago.  Locally grown and in-season produce is usually the best tasting, has the most nutritional punch, and is easier on your budget.  Swap hot soups for refreshing salads, hot chocolate for fresh fruit smoothies, and include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your meals and snacks.  Tomatoes, spinach, peas, strawberries, apricots and cherries are just a few of the choices that taste best in the spring.

Schedule your doctor appointments and screenings. You may have needed to see the doctor this past winter for the flu or strep throat, but when was the last time you had a physical?  A yearly physical, teeth cleaning, eye exam, mammography, Pap smear, skin cancer screening and colonoscopy are some of the many routine visits needed to stay healthy.  If you are due for any of these, schedule time to call and make the appointments.

Take to the outdoors each day. Behavioral scientists know that individuals who get 20 minutes or more of daylight have an increase in mood and report feeling more energized and alert.  Try having your morning coffee on the patio.  Walk the dog in the afternoon rather than taking a coffee break.  Go out for lunch and dine alfresco rather than eating at your desk.  Create a routine that will get you out the door every day.

Clear the clutter. Clutter and disarray in your home and office along with the thought of unfinished tasks drains our energy, causes anxiety, and depletes our sense of well-being.  Set aside specific time to clean and organize your desk, files, closets, or anything else that feels chaotic and disorganized.  Plan time to get tasks done that you’ve been procrastinating.  If you work best in small chunks of time, schedule an hour each day.  If you’re the type who prefers to keep going until the job is done, schedule a specific day. Make the effort to spring clean, and you’ll be amazed how energized and productive you will feel.  Get it done so that you’ll be able to enjoy some long, lazy days this summer.  After all, the next season will be here before we know it.

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