Whether or not the cold weather gets you down, spring brings with it new opportunities for not just trying new things, but to getting back into those healthy habits that might have dropped off during the winter. Staying on top of these will not only make you feel better, but they will help you function better the next time you find yourself not knowing exactly how to cope. Even the basics of life can be rough, so why not start with making a list?
Moving is generally more healthy than not, and not moving can be our M.O. when we’re borderline hibernating. Now’s the time to get up and find some exercise that works for you. It’s recommended to get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity during the week.
Cutting out, or at least reducing, alcoholic and sugary drinks is always the healthier option to reduce inflammation and to stay properly hydrated. Stick with water whenever possible and, if you need to spruce it up, there are plenty of sugar-free options available for making water more fun.
Winter months mean eating, but the holidays have a tendency to remove healthy eating from our vernacular, at least temporarily. Eating a balanced diet with lean proteins, veggies, and fruits, as well as low-fat dairy products will keep you energized and full. It’s also recommended to make have your meal plate fruits and vegetables, and for whatever grains you eat, half of them should be whole grains.
We get a lot of mixed messages about sleep, or at least different information, and during winter months we tend to sleep a lot more, especially since we tend to move less. For adults, it’s generally recommended to get 7 hours of sleep, and for teens 13-18 it’s recommended to get 8-10 hours. Children 6-12 need 9-12 hours of sleep each night. Waking up rejuvenated, like we’re supposed to, means getting enough recharging through sleep.
Stay Protected in the Sun
If the sun’s out, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 15, and wear long sleeves and long pants to avoid burning. Wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses (preferably sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays) are also recommended for staying protected.
While some adults might not need a reminder to brush twice a day using fluoride toothpaste, some of us do. Mouth health is more than just about protecting your teeth. Keeping germs away means keeping infections at bay. Infections from the mouth can spread, so keeping it clean in there is a good way to start staying healthy all over.
Spring is no different than any other part of the year for your health, although it’s finally the kind of weather where most of us feel like we have the energy to stay on top of these things. Use that energy, get in the habit, and stay there.