You’ve heard of spring cleaning. (And you’ve probably gone through great lengths to avoid it at some point.) But have you ever considered a spring cleaning for your body?
New Year’s gets all the hype for renewal and resolutions, but in many ways spring is a better time to reset and set goals. The warmer temperatures and longer days are naturally energizing, making it easier to make positive changes in your life.
To guide your spring renewal, we’ve compiled a checklist of seven ways to help you refresh your health goals—aka, spring cleaning for your body. Take a few moments to evaluate how you’re doing in each category, and from there you should have a good idea of which areas you need to focus on.
Adjust your diet
Are you eating five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables each day?
Does your diet include fiber?
Do you limit caffeine, alcohol, red meat, and carbs?
Do you eat healthy snacks and stop eating after dinner?
Are you drinking plenty of water?
If you answered yes to these questions, we salute you—you’re doing great!
The rest of us probably have a little bit of work to do. Start with one small goal to get you going. Here are a few ideas:
Switch out unhealthy snacks for fruit—this is especially useful for the sweet tooths out there!
Give Meatless Monday a try
Buy whole foods that are in season in your area
Drink water with your meals (especially when you go out to eat)
Rather than focusing solely on what to take away from your diet, focus on what you can add. Good intentions don’t last very long when all you can think about is what you can’t have. So if, for example, you know you eat too many carbs and not enough vegetables, start with increasing your veggie intake. Fill up on veggies so you won’t be as tempted to reach for that second breadstick.
Cleanse your system
Our bodies do a pretty good job putting the nutrients we consume to good use and clearing out what we don’t need. But sometimes our bodies need a little extra help—some deep spring cleaning, you could say—to keep the digestive system functioning as it should.
Unicity has a Cleanse system designed to gently cleanse your insides and help you maintain your digestive health. It’s a good idea to do a cleanse once or twice a year. Spring is as good a time as any to give your body some extra support!
Revamp your exercise routine
The general recommendation is to exercise at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week. If you’re currently not hitting that benchmark, jot down ways you can get some extra steps and exercises in throughout the day, even if it’s just in 10-minute intervals.
If you’re finding your exercise routine is boring and unfulfilling, let variety be your new exercise buddy. Sign up for a new class or sport in your area. Go for walks as an excuse to get out and enjoy the warmer weather. Start a garden. Try something you don’t normally do, like rock climbing or visiting a trampoline park.
Your exercise doesn’t have to look like a typical gym workout; just find something active you enjoy doing. This way exercise can become a highlight of your day rather than a dreaded chore.
If you’re not getting at least seven hours of sleep per night, prioritize sleep as part of your spring renewal. No excuses—make whatever sacrifices you need to ensure you’re getting the rest and renewal you need. Sleep benefits virtually every part of your health, and even if you don’t feel the effects of inadequate sleep now, it will catch up to you later.
Start with establishing some healthy sleep habits. Here are some tips to get you going.
Prepare for allergy season
For many, "spring" is just another way of saying "allergies." Which can take a lot of the joy out of the changing seasons. But if you’re prepared, you can stave off the worst of the itching, sneezing, and other unpleasant side effects of nature.
Keep an eye on the weather forecast and pollen count in your area and, if needed, start taking allergy medication a few weeks before spring arrives
Replace the filters in your home
Consider getting an air purifier if you don’t have one already, and make sure you have a good vacuum
Keep windows closed at night
Avoid outdoor activities in the morning when pollen counts are the highest
Stay indoors on dry, windy days
Now might be a good time to meet with an allergy specialist, too. Allergy symptoms can be obnoxious, but the good news is that there are a lot of ways to treat them. Explore your options so you’re not suffering unnecessarily.
Schedule wellness exams and screenings
A common aspect of spring cleaning involves maintenance for the bigger things that support your home, like your furnace, water heater, or sprinkler system. Regular checkups help ensure these important tools continue to work properly and can prevent expensive repairs later down the line.
Do the same for your body and schedule your annual checkups and screenings, if you don’t have them on the calendar already. The types of visits you’ll need to schedule will depend on your age and family history, but some of those might include:
Annual physical and/or wellness visit
Wellness visits aren’t always fun, but they’re one of the best things you can do to support your health and save you money long term on healthcare. Focus on just getting the visits you need scheduled this spring—that’s half the battle.
Check your mental health
Your mental health is deeply tied to your physical health, so you should be giving it the same amount of attention.
Everyone supports their mental health in different ways, but here are some ideas if you know you have work to do in this area.
Do something you enjoy every day
Spend some time outside each day
Meet with a therapist
Keep a gratitude journal
Establish a healthy work/life balance
Actually do some spring cleaning—clearing out clutter from your home feels good for a reason!
Small steps to big changes
Many people avoid spring cleaning because it feels like too big of a task to tackle, especially on top of other commitments. Fortunately, small changes can have a big impact. Make it a habit to reevaluate your health each spring, focusing on what your body needs most at the time, whether it be a diet change or an overdue wellness visit.
Keep an eye on this blog throughout the year for more tips on living a healthier, happier lifestyle!