If you’re like a lot of folks, you get out the mops and brooms to spring clean this time of year. But does your health routine need a spring cleaning, too? Here are four tips to spring clean your physical and mental health this spring.
Spring Clean Your Physical Health
Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
If you fell into the habit of eating heavier foods during the winter, spring is the time to lighten up by eating more fruits and vegetables. Visit your local farmer’s market and get inspired by what’s in season. When you see asparagus for the first time, celebrate by roasting it and topping it with a fried egg and sprinkled parmesan. When ripe strawberries appear, buy as many as your family will eat plain, and make a low-sugar strawberry shortcake with the rest.
Spring foods don’t require a lot of complicated preparation. Dress tender spring greens with a little olive oil, vinegar, and fresh herbs, and then dig in. And to make sure healthy food is always steps from your door, consider growing your berries or greens in a Tower Garden.
Get Enough Sleep
At Juice Plus+, one of our simple changes is to sleep more and stress less. While this may seem easier said than done, consistently skipping out on sleep also has serious implications for your physical health. Stop thinking of sleep as a luxury, and start treating it as the necessity it is! According to the research, 7-8 hours per night seems to be the magic number. To reach this number, some people swear by a regular exercise schedule, chamomile tea, trying to stick to an alarm, etc.
Spring Clean Your Mental Health
Most people are familiar with the physical benefits of regular exercise, which include promoting cardiovascular fitness and lowering blood sugar. Exercise can also help alleviate the symptoms of both anxiety and depression.[i] Now that it’s warm outside, it’s the perfect time to go for a run, bike ride, or hike. If you like to exercise with a group, get an outdoor game of tennis, volleyball, or basketball going. You’ll be having too much fun to notice you’re breaking a sweat.
Just being outside seems to have mental health benefits. A large-scale study published in Environmental Science and Technology studied the effect of living in urban areas with and without green spaces.[ii] People who lived near parks or gardens had better mental health scores than those who did not. Another study in the same journal also found exercising outside in a green space for as little as five minutes improved people’s moods. So, get out and get moving!