Spring has arrived, despite what the weather might suggest, and whilst it might be time for the big spring clean in our homes, it might also be time to consider spring cleaning your health.
See if these expert tips from Dr Sara Kayat could help boost your health and give your health a spring in its step for the season ahead.
Make use of the outdoors
Chances are, much like us, you’ve been hibernating through winter. Sometimes it’s just too cold and dreary to want to go anywhere, and you’d rather be snuggled up on the couch with the heating on full. There’s no shame in that.
But now it’s time to engage once again with Mother Nature and reap the cardiovascular benefits of exercise, as well as benefiting our mood, sleep, immune system, concentration and sleep, as well as cutting down on stress and tension.
When you exercise outdoors you’re in contact with the natural world, which can help boost your sensory stimulation and increase your creativity too.
Being outside is great for increasing your vitamin D levels from the sun, it’s also free and easy to access.
If the thought of going for a jog makes you wince then gardening can be just as effective for helping to increase your heart rate, depending of course how much effort you put into it. And if the rain won’t stop pouring you could just clean the house to help burn some calories, vacuuming can burn 170 calories an hour. The big spring clean is not only great for your home but your body too.
Take a visit to the farmer’s market
Typically, people can gain an average of 5lb during winter because activity levels are lower and we reach for comfort foods more regularly. As the temperature gets warmer, we’re less likely to be choosing stodgy foods in a bid to keep us warm, and the reintroduction of fresh and light ingredients will definitely help to streamline your diet.
With the change in seasons, it means that there a whole host of new ingredients to reach for and your local farmer’s market will have the freshest and tastiest produce for you to include in your diet. Peas, artichokes, asparagus, mussels and cod are just a few of the ingredients you’ll definitely want to start using more of in the coming months, simply because they’ll be at their most delicious.
Speak to the stall owners at the market, find out what’s in-season and ask for some tips on how you can cook with them and include them in your eating plan.
Clean your medicine cabinet out
When was the last time you went through your medicine cabinet? You’re likely to only delve into there when you’re feeling poorly, and whilst they play a key part in treating you, when you’re feeling well again it’s easy to forget about them. There are more than 70 million expired medicine products being kept in UK cabinets, and the likelihood is, some of them are in your home.
It’s important that you take the time to clear out your medicine cabinet and ensure you dispose of them correctly. Check whether they have expired and decide if you’re ever going to need them again, and dispose of appropriately. If the leaflet doesn’t explain how to do so, you can take them to your local pharmacist who will be happy to help.
Make preparations for allergy season
Whilst the thought of long and sunny days are the dream for some, for others, it means the onslaught of hayfever season is upon them and with that, they’ll have a runny nose, itchy eyes, persistent sneezing and coughing too.
If you do suffer from hayfever, it’s important that you make preparations and checking the pollen forecast is the easiest way to find out what kind of day you’re going to have. Stocking up on antihistamines and nasal sprays will help to relieve some of the symptoms and ensure your summer isn’t one to dread.
Other tips for hayfever sufferers include keeping your windows and doors shut when you’re indoors, cleaning and dusting regularly through summer. Some people might also benefit from applying a small amount of Vaseline around your nostrils to stop pollen getting up your nose. Wearing sunglasses can also help to protect your eyes.
Make sleep a priority
Focus on ensuring that you get an average of seven to eight hours sleep every night, and make it a habit that you wake up at the same time, even on the weekends. It’s important that you try to avoid using the snooze button too.
As the sun starts to rise earlier and earlier, you might find it hard to sleep till your alarm, so you might want to consider black-out blinds or a sleep mask to ensure you get the most sleep possible. But you could also embrace the early mornings and make the most of the sunshine.
If the birds chirping in the morning are a big distraction you could also consider background noises to help mask their sounds, and investing in a white noise machine could make a big difference to your sleeping pattern through summer.
Switch up your workout routine
Bored of doing the same workouts week in and week out, spring is the perfect excuse to mix things up and try a new class or something different like swimming in your local gym.
You could even consider cycling as the weather improves, and it could also be used as a means of transport, cycle to work and fit this new workout into your day. This is a great way to building up your cardio.
As the weather gets better, make the most of the changes in seasons by doing more walking, it’s a great way of making a small change for the better, and it’ll definitely soon add up.