It is always a good idea when the season changes to think of the ways we can improve our health. According to the calendar, it is spring in Pennsylvania. I am just waiting for the weather to start to agree with the calendar. I am getting a little tired of wearing my parka. Here are some easy tips to incorporate positive health benefits into your daily lives this spring.
1. Examine your diet
It is springtime. It is time to think about incorporating more seasonal produce into your
diet. Why not make the effort to choose some local produce? When you eat local, you not only support your local farmers and economy but you also help the environment by eliminating long distance transportation. Spring produce includes arugula or any leafy green, asparagus, garlic scapes, scallions, and strawberries.
You might want to consider joining a CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture). You pay the farmer up front for a season's (or two) worth of produce. It is a great way to incorporate new vegetables into your diet. I have an entire past blog post on how much I love my CSA.
2. Start or continue your outdoor exercise routine
The days will eventually become warmer and it stays lighter longer which is a perfect combination for exercising outdoors. The American Heart Association recommends moderate exercise for at least 150 minutes per week or 75 minutes per week of vigorous activity.
You might want to consider incorporating a walk into your day. Regular walking can reduce your risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma, stroke, and some cancers. It will also decrease your stress level and can help you lose weight. Walking among trees has been shown to lower your blood pressure and boost your immune system too.
Gardening which includes planting, weeding, raking, and mowing the lawn counts towards your 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. Sir Richard Thompson, president of the Royal College of Physicians has said that doctors should "prescribe a course of gardening for people who come to them with depression or stroke".
3. Protect yourself from the sun
Remember if you are spending time outdoors to wear sunscreen. A hat and sunglasses
are also helpful in protecting you from the sun's rays. As the temperature rises, remember to drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated. It's a good idea to carry a water bottle with you. Make an effort to use a reusable one to help the environment.
4. Check in with your doctor
Schedule your physical and make sure you are up to date with your screenings and vaccinations.
If you are overwhelmed by your healthcare concerns or do not know where to start, please reach out to me. As a healthcare advocate, I can give you the advice you need to manage your health. Have a safe and healthy spring.