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Springing Into Healthier Habits

Springing Into Healthier Habits

Blossom into Better Health This Spring

As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, you may find yourself with a new lease on life. Spring has sprung, and so should you! Take this season's inspiration and build healthier habits to last a lifetime.

Eat a More Balanced Diet

How Much You Should Eat Each Day

When it comes to eating a balanced diet, it is important to know how much of each food group you should be working into your meals. Although we know that we should be aiming to get a little bit of everything, you may still find yourself wondering how much of each food group is ideal. Aim for the following measurements of each major food group:

  • Fruits: 1.5 to 2 cups.
  • Protein: 5 to 6.5 ounces.
  • Vegetables: 2 to 3 cups.
  • Whole grains: 5 to 8 ounces.
  • Oils and fats: 5 to 7 teaspoons.

Eat Seasonal Fruits & Vegetables

During the springtime, there are a multitude of colorful fruits and vegetables that are in season. Along with being delicious, eating fresh produce means that you’re getting additional nutrients!

Try adding some of these spring fruits and veggies to your shopping list: :

  • Butter lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Pineapple
  • Scallions
  • Morel mushrooms
  • Limes
  • Leeks
  • Jackfruit
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • cherries
  • Rhubarb
  • Zucchini
  • Asparagus
  • Strawberries
  • Radishes
  • Mangoes

Maintain a Healthy Weight

More than 2 in 3 American adults are considered overweight or obese, but what exactly does that mean? Being overweight or obese means that a person’s body weight exceds what is considered to be normal for their height.

It is important to note that being overweight doesn’t necessarily mean you’re unhealthy.

Although being overweight is usually associated with excess body fat, being overweight may also be attributed to:

  • Muscle density
  • Extra water retention
  • Dense bones

Helpful Tips For Maintaining a Healthy Weight

As people get older, the body continues to change—and does the metabolism. When it comes to preventing unhealthy weight gain, it is important to make the appropriate lifestyle changes and stick to them to support your health into your golden years.

Here are some tips to help you lose weight and maintain a healthy one:

  • Eat a nutrient-dense diet.
  • Pay attention to your portion sizes.
  • Get at least 150 minutes of medium-intensity physical activity each week.
  • Reduce time spent in relaxed positions.
  • Cut back on sugary treats and drinks.

If you have questions about weight-gain and any existing health conditions, be sure to talk with your primary care physician to see what is best for you and your body.

Look After Your Mental Health

While eating healthy and leading an active lifestyle are key for maintaining your health, looking after your mental health and wellness is equally as important.

How Stress Affects Your Health

From extra pressure at work to big changes in your life, experiencing stress is inevitable. When you find yourself in a stressful or dangerous situation, your body has a natural response to help protect you. During periods of distress, your body has a chemical response and releases stress hormones like cortisol into your bloodstream.

While it’s normal to experience elevated levels of stress every now and then, prolonged exposure to your body’s stress response can lead to a multitude of health issues. This makes it imperative for you to develop healthy coping mechanisms to keep distressing emotions at bay.

Update Your Self-Care Routine

Take a Hot Shower or Bath

One of the most convenient and simple ways to relax your mind is to draw a warm bath or take a steamy shower. For many centuries hydrotherapy has been used to treat ailments from stress and anxiety to muscle and joint pain.

The next time you’re feeling stressed out or overwhelmed after a long day, run some hot water to add your favorite essential oils to your nighttime routine to reap some additional relaxing benefits.

Book a Massage

Many of us know that getting a massage can help to relieve physical tension in your muscles, but it can also help to ease feelings of distress as well. Some of the many benefits of massage therapy include:

  • Stress relief
  • Reduce muscle tension
  • Reduce pain
  • Improve circulation
  • Enhance attentiveness and alertness
  • Improve sleep quality

Whether you’d rather go with a loved one or alone, book a professional massage to give your mind and body some relief.

Get Some Extra Rest

Although many of us find ourselves skipping out on good quality rest each night to increase our productivity during the day, it does more harm than good. When you get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night, you reap the following benefits:

  • Reduce stress
  • Regulate your mood
  • Increase concentration
  • Improve decision-making and critical thinking skills
Deep Clean Your Space

Along with having a tidier home, deep-cleaning your living space can help to support your mental health too. Oftentimes, a cluttered living environment can worsen symptoms of distressing emotions like anxiety and depression. Although you may not be able to change the circumstances causing your elevated levels of stress, you can make your home and space a safe-haven by tidying up.

Try Outdoor Yoga

Yoga is another excellent way for you to support your mental health. Throughout history, yoga and dynamic stretching exercises have been used as a self-soothing technique to deal with stress and negative emotions. Some ways that yoga can help to combat your body’s stress response include:

  • Reduces heart rate
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Regulates respiration
  • Quiets racing thoughts

To add to yoga’s healthful benefit, try taking it outdoors! Venturing out into nature provides the following benefits that can help you to regulate your mood:

  • Increase vitamin D levels
  • Increase activity levels
  • Reduce feelings of anxiety and depressions

Take a Walk

Another simple way that you can support your mental health is to go out for a walk. Along with supporting your physical health, taking a mindful walk can also help you to feel more at ease because your body releases endorphins during physical activity.

The best thing about this coping technique is that you can do it just about anywhere that there’s a sidewalk or trail. So the next time you’re feeling low, head out to your favorite park or trail to give yourself an emotional boost.