Spring into Healthy Habits
Spring is a time of rebirth and renewal. Use the new life emerging in the natural world as inspiration. As the season changes, take a fresh look at your own self care and create new positive changes that will improve your health.
Rethink your diet
As you welcome the new season, take stock of your food shopping and eating habits. Now is a great time to add spring seasonal fruits and vegetables to your meals. Delicious, energizing spring choices include strawberries, spinach, citrus, peas, asparagus, artichokes, and mushrooms. The more colors you see on your plate, the better.
Veggies at every meal
Fresh produce includes the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your body needs, so make an effort to incorporate vegetables into as many meals as possible. In the morning, add leafy greens and mushrooms to your breakfast eggs, nuts and berries to your yogurt or oatmeal, or sliced avocado to whole wheat toast. At lunchtime, slip spinach and peppers into your sandwich or salad. In the evening, include colorful vegetables in dinnertime stir-fries, pasta dishes, or grilled kabobs. For kids (or husbands) who don’t like veggies, puree spinach or carrots and mix into sauces, soups or meatballs to boost the nutrition of your meals. If there are leftover vegetables from dinner, use them to fortify tomorrow’s breakfast and lunch.
Reduce sugar and salt
Most nutrition experts agree choosing whole, fresh foods instead of sugar- and salt-filled processed foods will improve your nutritional value of your diet. Limiting portion sizes is also a key tactic to prevent overeating. Try to avoid processed snack foods too. Instead, augment your meals with more wholesome snacks like nuts and raw vegetables with a light dip of hummus or yogurt.
Reevaluate your liquid intake too
Make wise choices when it comes to drinks. Drinking frothy coffee creations, smoothies, energy drinks, soft drinks or cocktails adds unneeded calories, sugar and caffeine to your diet. Moderation is the key. Whenever possible, substitute water for sugary or alcoholic drinks to reduce calories and stay hydrated. Plain water too boring for you? Infuse your water with added taste by adding a slice of cucumber, lemon, lime, orange, or other fruit. An added benefit of drinking water is it may help you avoid overeating. When hunger pangs hit, drink water first. It can quell your hunger and delay your need for food.
Move more, sit less
Spring is also the time to reinvent your fitness routine. The warmer temperatures and longer sunlight hours are an invitation to get outside and get moving. Use the new season as motivation to start a new sport or rediscover an activity you enjoyed in the past – maybe biking, gardening, or hiking. Taking your exercise outdoors provides the added bonus of the natural mood boost that comes with getting fresh air and natural light. One of the easiest ways to increase your activity is to make walking a daily priority. It may be as simple as taking the dog for a walk or purposely parking further away at the office or shopping center.
Set clear goals
The first step of any new endeavor is to determine your goals. Well-written goals are a great motivator and help you evaluate your progress. Instead of generic goals, add specifics that will help you on your path. Here are some examples:
Generic Diet Goal: I will eat healthier.
Specific Diet Goal: I will add vegetables to three meals a day at least five days a week.
Generic Fitness Goal: I will exercise more.
Specific Fitness Goal: I will walk for at least 30 minutes every day.
Schedule your health visits
Are you up to date with recommended health screenings and immunizations? Check in with A Woman’s View to discuss any health concerns you have. We are happy to schedule your mammogram, yearly exam or a weight management consultation.