Do those “winter blues” have you down in the dumps? Spring can’t come soon enough for many of us… except those folks living on a Caribbean island full-time. Time to dust off the cobwebs of winter, open the windows and let fresh air surround us.
Why do we love spring? The daffodils are a beautiful shade of yellow and green grass pops up in yards everywhere. Bunnies run wild with excitement and dogs can’t wait to get to the park. It doesn’t take a weatherman to know that spring brings out the best in us. Spring invigorates the senses and gets our minds, bodies and spirits ready to enjoy the great outdoors again.
Baby Steps to Better Health
Local gyms and fitness centers fill up in January and February as New Year’s resolutions take place for people making a wellness challenge. However, by March, we’re ready to ditch the treadmills and get outside in the sunshine. The mind tells us to run that marathon, but the body says I’m not ready. Better health is a lifelong motivation, so try some baby steps…
- Begin with breakfast-whole grains and whole wheat cereals.
- Add an extra fruit or vegetable a day.
- Avoid the sweet sodas, lattes or sweet teas.
- Enjoy the heart-health benefits of walnuts and almonds.
Talk with your physician first to discuss health history and level of risks before beginning any exercise program. It’s a good idea to discuss any fitness programs during those early prenatal visits. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ guidelines recommend the following:
- Brisk walking as a great total body workout
- Swimming or water workouts
- Stationary bicycling
- Modified yoga or modified pilates
- The Wonders of Walking
A short walk, even 10 minutes a day, will get us moving in the right direction. Putting on the earbuds, grabbing the baby stroller and walking with a friend outdoors can create a sense of well-being. Be sure to download a heart-healthy app that tracks your steps and gives you the inspiration to keep going.
Take a Deep Breath, Slow Down and Laugh!
Create a moment where you can take a deep breath each day. Slow down, be present in the moment and let your senses take over. Learn relaxation techniques to help lower stress and give you a sense of calm. Look for a quiet, happy place and try 10 to 20 minutes a day of relaxing. Laughter helps to reduce your stress levels and boosts brain chemicals, so remember to laugh aloud often.
Head outdoors to soak in some sunshine and don’t forget the sunscreen! Grab a bag lunch, leave the office or cubicle and take a walk in the grass.
Time to come out of hibernation, turn the clocks forward and share the love of spring! Watch out for the bunnies!