Post written by Kare Lyche, MD
Board Certified Physician in Family Medicine
Health Partnership Clinic
If ever there were a season for new beginnings or fresh starts, it is Springtime! When you think about Spring, is it all about packing away your winter clothes, purging clutter and undertaking a thorough cleaning? Spring is also a good time to think about your mental and physical health.
It is common for our health to take a backseat during the winter months. The days are cold and short, and we are often low on motivation. Many people suffer from the blues during the winter months. Now is the perfect time to turn it all around.
Try these seven tips to kick off the new season in a positive way.
- Start an exercise program. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise. Being physically active will help reduce your risk of developing heart disease or stroke.
- Incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet. Choose in season, local produce. Seasonal produce is flavorful and budget friendly. Visit your local farmers market. It is good for the community and good for you!
- Drink more water. As the weather heats up it is harder to stay hydrated. Make sure you drink plenty of water, especially if you will be outside. Although opinions on how much water an individual should consume vary, many sources use the 8X8 rule. Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.
- Schedule screenings and doctor’s appointments. Whether you are due for your annual physical, mammogram, colonoscopy or prostate exam, it is important to make your health a priority. As adults, we often think that we are too busy to take time to care for ourselves and we prioritize caring for our loved ones. Invest in your own care so that you will be around for your family for years to come.
- Get outside and explore. A nice brisk walk will help you clear your mind and provide a cardiovascular workout. According to Mayo Clinic, regular brisk walking can help you:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Strengthen your bones and muscles
- Prevent or manage various conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
- Improve your mood, balance and coordination
- Make a conscious effort to unplug. We spend so much time attached to our email, phones and Facebook but studies show it is really important to unplug. Unplugging helps with rest and recovery and allows us to reboot.
- Focus on people and your own wellness. Make human connections and be good to yourself. Relationships and good mental health have the most impact on our happiness. Make time for the ones you love.