Spring into Health this Spring!

Spring is finally here!

For many people, spring is the favorite season of the year. At least in Michigan, it means milder weather, less gloomy, cloudy days and much more sunshine.

I believe that spring is the perfect season to spring into health!

How can you spring into health this spring?

Three simple steps:

  1. Spring into a healthy mindset.
  2. Spring into action.
  3. Spring into a healthy routine.

Spring into a healthy mindset

It’s going to take a while to shift your mindset from the cold gloom of winter to the warm glow of spring.

In fact, many people suffer “winter blues” as a result of the extreme cold weather and dark gloomy days that often keep people inside. Also, according to myClevelandClinic.org, some people suffer from seasonal affective disorder also known as SAD. Seasonal affective disorder is depression that gets triggered by a change in seasons, that usually starts in the fall and gets worse in the winter usually ending in the spring. This milder version of SAD or the “winter blues” often goes away, however those with more severe forms of SAD often need treatment.

Either way, springing into a healthier mindset in most cases is going to have to be intentional. You are going to have to make the decision and the commitment that you are going to use the change of season as motivation to make necessary healthy lifestyle changes.

Why is spring a good time to spring into a healthy mindset?

I have found that the changing of seasons if often a great motivator for people to commit to making necessary changes to improve their health.

The colder climate in the winter has often been used as an excuse to not exercise and to avoid doing physical activities, such as walking or running outside. The warmer weather often removes the apprehension and the excuses.

It is important to keep in mind that in the beginning of spring, the mornings and the evening can be quite chilly and there is still the possibility of snow. Yes, it snows even in April in Michigan.

But don’t let the “nippiness” of the weather or the occasional snow be an easy excuse to keep you from continuing or starting an exercise routine inside or layering up to go outside.

I believe if you have read this article this far, you are ready. So, let’s go. Set your mind. Now, let’s spring into action.

Spring into action

Now that you have sprung into a healthy mindset, it’s time to spring into action.  I understand that you might feel anxious and even a little overwhelmed.

You might be feeling apprehensive about springing into action especially if you have been eating comfort foods and have gained a few extra pounds or if you have not exercised in a while and are dealing with “creaky knees” and tight unused muscles.

According to Lawrence J. Cheskin, M.D., founder, and director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center as reported by WebMD, surveys show people tend to gain five to seven pounds on average during the winter months. Also, stiff joints and tight muscles are often experienced as a result of long bouts of sitting and inactivity that often occurs in the winter.

How do you spring into action after a long cold harsh winter?

As the Nike commercial says, “Just do it.” Just start moving.

Simply moving will help you build momentum that will propel you to move forward.

  • Start walking, lifting weights, or participating in a structured workout at the gym: Go for a walk in the morning, during lunch or at the end of the day. Perform a total body strength routine that works larger muscle groups and smaller muscle groups if time allows. Participate in a yoga, kickboxing or HIIT workout online or at the gym.
  • Start making healthier food choices by adding a fruit or a vegetable to every meal and/or drinking more water and being more mindful of food choices: Simply focusing on the foods that you should you consume as opposed to the foods that you should avoid is a proven strategy that increases nutrient intake and reduces the consumption of unhealthy foods.

Then once you have started to implement healthy lifestyle strategies into your day, spring into a healthy routine so that the benefits of your actions are experienced long-term.

Spring into a healthy routine

It is no secret that a healthy lifestyle contributes to the prevention of chronic disease, enhanced mental health and improved overall physical health and wellbeing.

So, if you want to enjoy the benefits of your healthier mindset and healthier actions, you are going to have to make it part of a normal routine.

How do you spring into a healthy routine?

  • Schedule in sufficient time in the morning to set your mind each day.
    • Meditate, pray, or breathe your way to positivity.
  • Pack healthy snack and meal options or plan ahead for healthy food consumption.
    • If you can’t bring it with you, know where you can find healthy food options.
  • Schedule in physical activity and/or exercise throughout the day or when you can commit to do it.
    • Plan time to move intentionally or perform short bouts of exercise during the day or a longer workout that works for you.

Once you spring into a healthy mindset, healthy actions, and a healthy routine, you will not only be able to enjoy the numerous health benefits of a healthy lifestyle in the spring but for hopefully a lifetime.

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Photo credit: Getty Images

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