Spring Clean Your Health Routine
Springtime is the perfect time to reboot, refresh and re-evaluate your wellness habits.
With warmer weather, longer days and a new season upon us, what better time to hit the reset button and start on a clean slate!
S.P.R.I.N.G forward with these healthy tips to invigorate your health and fitness routine:
Get outdoors and breathe in some fresh air.
Time under the sun can generate feelings of joy and serenity, thus activating your happy hormones. Natural spaces offer therapeutic benefits from the sights, sounds, smells provided by Mother Nature.
Whether it’s going for a walk or hike in a forest, cycling around town or enjoying a cleansing swim, these activities can have a powerful, uplifting effect on your mental and physical state.
Devoting time spent in green spaces can help reduce cortisol (a stress hormone), elevate endorphin levels, and increase dopamine production, promoting happiness. Exposure to nature has been associated with a host of benefits, including stress reduction, better mood, improved attention and cognitive function.
Harness the energy of nature to re-energize and optimize your wellness.
Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria living in your gut. Although we generally think of bacteria as germs or toxins, probiotics are, in fact, good (or helpful) because they keep your gut healthy and fight off harmful microbes.
They support immune and digestive health and aid with weight loss, oral and dermatological health. However, to help increase the growth of good bacteria in the body, it’s also essential to introduce prebiotics. These are special plant fibres that act as food to feed and help healthy bacteria grow. So how can you include pre- and probiotics in your diet?
Probiotics can be found in foods, drinks and supplements. In particular, fermented foods like yogurt, pickles, kimchi and sauerkraut are excellent sources. Similarly, fermented drinks such as kombucha and kefir (a fermented dairy drink) can be inclusions to amplify your probiotic intake.
Prebiotics are found in various vegetables, fruits and whole grains such as apples, bananas, flaxseeds, tomatoes, dandelion greens, barley and wheat.
Both pro- and prebiotics are available as supplements.
Springtime is a great time to purge the fridge and pantry of bad-for-you foods. Processed foods that are high in sugar, artificial ingredients, refined carbs and trans-fats should be destined for the trash can.
Instead, restock your kitchen with a selection of nourishing foods that will contribute to your health, not take away from it. Enjoy Mother Nature’s springtime bounty with a choice of plant foods that are in season and can be enjoyed at the peak of freshness.
Seasonal foods are exceptionally flavourful, and if bought locally, preserve their healthful vitamins and minerals by reducing transportation time from farm to store. Prepare home-cooked meals incorporating salads, lean protein, fibre-rich complex carbs, fruits and veggies.
Enjoy nutrient-dense fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies to refresh your palette. Consuming real-food, wholesome meals at the dinner table will aid in weight management, boost immunity, unclog arterial passageways and support digestive health.
Get purposeful with your thoughts and actions.
Take a mental and digital cleanse; this is just as important to keep your state of mind and physical body in tip-top shape.
Practice meditation and deep breathing techniques to balance and declutter your mind. Try a guided meditation or simply engage in simple breathing techniques to help ease the sympathetic nervous system and clear your head.
Have a digital time-out and do those things that stimulate creativity, engage with others or allow for self-reflection. Read a good book, watch a movie or keep a journal; these are mindful ways to connect with yourself and change thought patterns.
Step up your fitness threshold by challenging yourself to try something new.
Consider a class or new fitness tool to elevate your game.
Partake in an organized sports activity, boot camp session, and likewise, try your hand at kettlebells, resistance bands and stability balls as they may help amplify your workouts. Invest in new gear like workout clothes, running shoes or digital equipment and wearables to get you moving.
Change up your typical go-to exercise routine.
If cardio is usually your speed, take a detour and give strength training a flex to build, tone your muscles. Supplementing this into your practice will further optimize cardiovascular and musculoskeletal health.
When your mind and body are stimulated with a feeling of newness and challenge, chances are, you’ll be pumped up and eager to stick with the game plan.
Whether it’s spending time in a fitness facility or home gym, there are many ways to re-energize your workout.
If you’re new to the workout world or looking to re-energize a plateaued fitness regimen, consider working with a certified personal trainer (in-person or online) to motivate and help you achieve your goals.
Partake in an online digital fitness program that offers a selection of workouts to appease your needs like functional training, strength, foundation movement, boxing, yoga and Pilates. Experiment with different exercise techniques including HIIT, Tabata and Plyometrics to stimulate, build other muscle groups and prevent boredom.
The best workouts are the ones you’re going to do — and stick to, consistently.
Strength, cardio and flexibility training are crucial elements to a holistic fitness plan; implementing them as part of your healthy lifestyle will support a vibrant body inside and out.
Springtime is the season of regrowth and new beginnings. Evaluate those areas in your life that you want to revitalize.
Set your wellness goals, take action and bloom — just like the buds blossoming on trees!
Daniela DeFeo is a nationally published author, health/fitness coach, Vista ambassador and wellness influencer. Her contributions have been featured in premier publications, and she works with leading brands to create content that promotes holistic health. She is the founder of DeeVita Wellness, where she provides personalized nutrition and fitness programs. Connect with her at www.deevitawellness.com