For many plants, flowers, and trees, spring is a time of growth. It is the season that they shed the effects of winter and start to bud and bloom. You can do the same for your health this springtime, using the upcoming months to look and feel your best.
Here are six ways to do just that!
1. Hit the Local Farmer’s Markets
Unless you live in a temperate climate, your local farmer’s market likely closes over the winter. Once it reopens, make it a habit to attend and stock up on healthy homegrown produce. Not only does it typically taste better than what you get in a grocery store, but it can also provide two times as much nutritional value. (1)
Several different vegetables are harvested in the spring, some of which include broccoli, cabbage, onions, peas, radishes, and spinach.
Spring also brings us a variety of fruit, such as:
- and pineapple.
Grab a few of each during your weekly farmer’s market visits.
2. Get Some Much-Needed Sun
After being holed up all winter, your body may be lacking vitamin D. This is because the skin manufactures its own vitamin D with the help of sun exposure. So, if you haven’t spent much time outside the last couple of months due to the cold, your levels of this nutrient might be lower.
Of course, you don’t want to spend too much time in the sun as this can do more harm than good. All it takes to boost your intake of vitamin D is 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure a few times a week. Though, you may be able to get away with a bit more sunshine this spring if you are older, have a darker skin color, or live in a northern climate. (2)
3. Enjoy Outdoor Activities
The current Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends that most adults get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week, further suggesting that 300 minutes weekly can do more to improve health. (3)
Spring is the perfect time to increase your physical activity outdoors. Get your heart rate up by going for a jog at the park or by hiking through area woods. Doing yard work, such as removing fallen leaves from flower beds and trimming dead tree branches, are other options that will get you moving while also providing the opportunity to check these items off your outdoor cleaning to-do list.
4. Join a Spring Sports League
If you enjoy playing sports, another way to get more physically active this spring is to join a local sports league.
- and tennis are examples of springtime sports.
Look up your local recreation centers or sports venues and see what they have to offer. Most of them will list their public league options on their website. Another option is to search online for “sports leagues near me.” This will show you all the places in your area that are available to try. Check them out, pick one, and sign up to join the team.
5. Give Your House a Good Clean
Many people love to give their homes a thorough cleaning in the spring. There’s something so calming about being in a house that has been scrubbed from top to bottom.
But there’s also another reason to clean this spring. It helps reduce allergens.
Tree pollen is the most common seasonal allergen in March and April of each year. (4) Although, other allergens that might be floating around can include pet hair, dust mites, and other substances released from plants and trees as they start to bloom.
Cleaning helps remove these substances from your environment, reducing your exposure, and saving you from uncomfortable symptoms such as a runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing, and congestion. If allergies are a major issue for you, it may also help to purchase an air purifier. The more allergens you can eliminate, the better.
6. Make Your Annual Doctors’ Appointments
Staying current with your regular doctor’s visits helps make sure your current health status is okay, also potentially catching any problems when they’re new enough to treat more easily. Depending on your sex, age, and medical history, these annual appointments may involve screening for high cholesterol, diabetes, or certain types of cancer.
Talk to your healthcare provider to learn what type of screenings you need. Your annual visit is also a good time to check your height, weight, blood pressure, any skin issues, and more.
Don’t forget to schedule your annual eye exam and semi-annual dental cleanings while you’re at it. Get all of these on your calendar now so you can enjoy the rest of the year, hopefully, free from any additional doctor’s visits.