After what always feels like the longest wait, spring is finally here and warmer weather will soon follow suit. If you feel like you were in a crisis last winter, let these health tips revitalize you.
Clean up your diet
Like many people, you may have indulged yourself a little more than usual with comfort foods, baked goods and desserts during the holidays and in the colder months. Unfortunately, the occasional indulgence can quickly become a habit if you’re not careful. A diet high in such foods can make you feel sluggish and possibly lead to slight weight gain. Eating too much saturated fat can raise your blood cholesterol and increase your risk of heart disease. These types of foods are also usually high in sugar, which can lead to problems like acne and fatigue, and increase your risk of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes.
Eating healthy, balanced diets on a regular basis may make you feel more alert, energetic, and generally in a better mood. Your risk of developing chronic diseases could also decrease significantly. However, it can be difficult to change your habits and satisfy your cravings. Meal planning apps, accessible right from your phone, are a convenient and helpful way to take the guesswork out of daily mealtimes and help you meet your nutritional goals.
When it’s colder, it’s easy to tell yourself that it’s okay to stay inside and make yourself comfortable with a blanket and turn on the TV. Once you’ve slacked off in exercising, you may get used to not moving as much. It’s important to remember the risks of a sedentary lifestyle and use them to stay motivated, straighten up, and get moving. Prolonged physical inactivity can lead to obesity, heart disease, and muscle weakness. Often times, these problems can lead to other problems as well. For example, men may have new or worsening erectile dysfunction. If so, they may need medications like Cialis for ED to help relieve symptoms.
Regular exercise can increase energy levels, improve your mood, improve brain health and memory, and reduce the risk of chronic illness. However, an exercise routine can be intimidating. If you want to start slowly, take advantage of the better weather and go outside for a 30-minute walk as often as possible.
Practice sun protection
Once you can spend more time outdoors, it is important to remember the potentially harmful effects of exposure to too much sunlight. The sun’s ultraviolet rays can damage your eyes and skin, leading to skin cancer, premature aging, skin spots, and wrinkles. Wear sunglasses every time you go outside – and make sure they have enough UV protection – to protect your eyes from cataracts or pterygium. This is a tissue growth that can affect vision. Wear wide-brimmed hats that can keep your neck and ears in the shade if possible. Light long-sleeved shirts can help protect your arms from the sun without making you feel uncomfortable or too hot. Finally, and arguably most importantly, always use sunscreen at all times. Make sure you use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher, and remember to reapply it if you’ve been in the sun for more than two hours, or after swimming or sweating profusely.
Drink plenty of water
We all know that water is important to our health. But many people still struggle to put sugary drinks aside and drink adequate amounts of water each day. Aside from the harmful effects of too much sugar, there are harmful effects of chronic dehydration. Not drinking enough water can lead to fatigue, constipation, dry mouth, and headaches. In hot weather, it becomes even more difficult to stay hydrated and you can even experience heat exhaustion. If you’re looking for a way to remind yourself to drink more water, consider a reusable water bottle. Often times, they have measurements to keep track of your water intake, filters to add flavor, or straws built in for convenience. And you help the environment by reducing plastic waste!
Spring is the time to start over and the perfect time to reflect on your habits. Just making a few lifestyle changes to make your health a priority can help you feel happier and more energetic.