Spring into spring
There’s something about the blooming flowers and welcome sunshine of spring that makes many of us feel like making a fresh start.
As we shed the winter woollies and throw open the windows, it’s a great time to have a think about some health and wellbeing goals to help you clear out the cobwebs.
So here are four positive actions you can take to help you greet spring with a healthier, happier you!
1. Put a spring in your step
If you hibernated over winter to hide from the chill, your exercise habit might’ve taken a bit of a back seat. As the days start getting longer and warmer, why not take the opportunity to get it going again?
Start by keeping a diary of the activity you do each day to build awareness of how active you are now. This becomes a benchmark that you can try and improve on.
If you trade just 30 minutes of sitting time for active time each day, that’s more than three hours of extra activity in your week.
Find fun, new ways start moving more. If you’re not sure you can stick with a new program, find a friend to be your exercise buddy, and make a plan together — that way you can motivate each other!
2. Clean out the clutter
If you’re facing a desk piled high with unfiled paperwork, wardrobes full of clothes you never wear, and cupboards full of items you don’t remember buying, it might be time for – you guessed it! – a spring clean.
Start with a checklist of all the areas you want to clean or tidy, then prioritise them in an order that suits you. You might want to work from most visible messes to least, or tackle them from hardest to easiest to clean (or vice versa!), or go room by room until you’ve completed every task.
The great thing about planning first is it can help you stay motivated by being able to see your progress as tick off your list, and you’re less likely to waste your time and effort.
3. Enjoy fresh, seasonal delights
Beat food fatigue by clearing out the fridge and pantry, and stocking up on new healthy recipes that take advantage of the great spring produce available.
Bupa dietitian Rosalyn D’Angelo reminds us that eating seasonally not only supports our farmers, it’s also good for our health. “Local seasonal produce is harvested at its peak, when it has the most flavour and nutritional content,” she says. Not only that, she adds, but eating seasonal fruit and veg can help ensure we get a variety of different fruits and vegetables across the year – so we’re not eating the same thing week in week out. Eating a rainbow of fruit and veg will help you get a wide range of essential vitamins and minerals.
In spring, make the most of vitamin C-rich citrus fruits like lemon, and veggies like woody asparagus and flavoursome fennel that add fibre to your diet.
They are great ingredients as a base for tasty seasonal combos – try fennel with cabbage and ruby-red pomegranate; or grill some asparagus then top with feta, a splash of olive oil and lemon juice, and add a handful of pine nuts or slivered almonds.
4. Stop being sneezy and wheezy
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One of the most common health issues people deal with in spring is hayfever
, although it can affect some people all year round. If you have hayfever, you may notice symptoms such as a blocked and runny nose, coughing, blocked sinuses, and generally feeling unwell. Health professionals often recommend antihistamines for mild symptoms of hayfever, along with nasal sprays which can help reduce inflammation and clear nasal passages.
Sometimes, however, these treatments don’t work, especially for people new to Australia and not previously exposed to the allergens. If that’s true for you, talk to your doctor about other treatments available that may help treat your allergies.
Whatever you’re planning on doing for better health and wellbeing this season, don’t delay – spring to it!