Spring into Healthy Behaviors
Spring is in the air! It's beautiful outside and a great time of the year to do a little spring cleaning--not just of your home, but of your routines. Spring is a great time to fill your body with new, fresh foods and fill your schedule with new, healthy activities. Try some of the following suggestions to put a little spring in your step and in your life this month.
1. Hello, fresh produce! The Farmer's Markets are open, roadside stands are popping up, it's harvest time for some of the best, antioxidant rich foods out there. Spring is the season for berries, bell peppers, zucchini, and more and if you stop by a local farmer's market, they can tell you more about the produce they grow, and probably even let you sample things you haven't tried before. Try some Greek yogurt topped with a variety of berries and some nuts for a healthy, filling snack packed with protein and vitamins.
2. Grill up some great options! Spring is also full of holidays, graduations, and parties so you want to be cautious of too many burgers on the grill and brisket in the smoker. Luckily, you can enjoy the outdoor gatherings by added vegetable skewers, turkey burgers, chicken, and even watermelon on the grill. Did you know--that watermelon has more lycopene than any other produce item? Lycopene is good to help reduce risks of heart disease and cancer and is released in the cooking process, so grill up that watermelon (a couple of minutes on each side) and enjoy the flavor and benefits of this hydrating fruit!
3. Soak up the sun! Wear sunscreen, of course, but enjoy the warm weather by going on walks in the neighborhood or going for a stroll in the park. The warm sun is good for our mood and the Vitamin D is necessary for bone health. Make it a family event by going to the park and looking at the different flowers, trees, bugs, and animals you find there.
4. Reset your sleep schedule. Winter months can sometimes cause our sleep patterns to change. Embrace the longer days and adjust your sleep patterns. Practice good sleep hygiene by avoiding caffeine later in the day and turning off devices when it's close to bedtime. If practical, sleep with the curtains/blinds open to let in the natural light in the morning, which is way more pleasant than a beeping alarm clock.
5. Stay hydrated. The warmer weather and more activity means you may need to increase your water intake. Pay attention to your thirst cues so that you avoid dehydration, which can cause low energy and headaches. Buy a new water bottle or jazz up your water with fruit infusions!