Posted on by Paula Gallagher
It is spring! Warmer weather and budding trees are signs of new beginnings and fresh starts, not just for flowers but also for you. Personally, shedding the extra layers makes me want to eat better, exercise more and enjoy what the season has to offer.
Spring is a great time to adopt healthier habits. If this seems daunting, try one or two steps first, then continue with what works best for you.
1. Eat a Varied Diet
Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, high-quality protein sources, and healthy fats are all rich sources of beneficial nutrients that can nourish and protect your body. Incorporating a wide variety of healthy foods into your diet helps to ensure that you are getting a good range of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber. Rotating foods, so that you are not eating the same things every day can also help to reduce the likelihood of developing food sensitivities. This is an important component of supporting immune and digestive wellness.
2. Supplement With Key Nutrients
- Multivitamin - Even the best diet cannot guarantee optimal nutrient levels. A high quality multivitamin supplement can help to fill in nutrient gaps. Correcting nutrient deficiencies is an important part of preventative healthcare.
- Calcium, Magnesium & Vitamin D - Bone is dynamic, living tissue that is continually being renewed. Critical nutrients involved in bone health are calcium, magnesium and vitamin D. Taking these nutrients along with a balanced diet and regular exercise are essential for strong, healthy bones.
- Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids – Omegas are vital to your health and benefit many different areas of the body, such as skin and hair, joints, eyes, as well as the cardiovascular and nervous systems. They also play an important role in modulating inflammation in your body. Taking a molecularly distilled and potent omega-3 supplement will help provide your body with optimal levels of these essential fats.
- Probiotics – Beneficial bacteria inhabit your entire digestive, urinary and reproductive tracts. Healthy bacteria aid in the absorption of nutrients, discourage bad bacterial growth, and act as part of the immune system. Taking probiotics on a daily basis helps to support your digestion, immune function and skin health.
3. Exercise Regularly
Your mind, body, and spirit can all benefit from engaging in physical activity. For your body, exercise helps to protect against the development of chronic diseases, supports healthy bone density, supports healthy weight management, increases heart and lung function, and has a positive effect on cholesterol levels and blood pressure. And for your mind and spirit, exercise decreases muscle tension, can enhance feelings of well-being, improves your ability to handle stress, and can elevate mood.
4. Support Detoxification
Reducing your exposure to harmful substances and improving your body’s detoxification processes are both required to maintain good health. The liver is the body’s primary organ for detoxification. It takes toxic chemicals and breaks them down into less harmful substances that are then excreted from the body. The intestines, kidneys, lymphatic system, skin, and lungs are all key players in the healthy elimination of toxins. Moving your bowels on a daily basis is an important part of ridding your body of toxins. Also, using water filters on your drinking and showering water, sauna use, and occasional fasting are great ways to assist your body’s detoxification processes.
5. Drink Plenty of Water
Water is an essential substance that is required for nearly every body process including digestion, absorption, circulation and excretion. Water is the main carrier of nutrients throughout the body and is essential for carrying out waste products. How much water should you drink? A general guideline is to drink half your body weight in ounces daily. For example, if you weigh 140 lbs then it is recommended that you drink 70 ounces of water per day.
6. Get a Good Night’s Rest
Disrupted sleep can lead to fatigue, lowered immunity, poor concentration, and can have a negative impact on your physical, mental, and social well-being. If you have difficulty falling asleep or trouble staying asleep, addressing the root cause is the only way to restore needed rest. Common causes of insomnia include tension, depression, hypoglycemia, pain, worry, use of stimulants and disruptive environments. Practicing relaxation techniques, getting regular exercise, adjusting your diet, and taking key nutrients can help to nourish your body and support a healthy night’s sleep.
7. Take Measures to Manage Stress
Unresolved stress, whether physical, mental, or emotional in nature, has a negative effect on health. Regular or continuous stress weakens the immune system, increases the likelihood of illness, and slows the healing process. Researchers believe that stress contributes to as much as 80% of all major illnesses. Introducing relaxation practices such as meditation, yoga, and deep breathing into your daily routine, can help buffer the effects of stress on your body and mind.
Paula is a highly qualified and experienced nutrition counselor on the staff at Village Green.
Margo's impressive knowledge base is the result of a unique blend of educational and professional experience.
Dr. Neal Barnard
Dr. Barnard leads programs advocating for preventive medicine, good nutrition, and higher ethical standards in research.
Dr. Joseph Pizzorno
Dr. Joseph Pizzorno, ND is a pioneer of integrative medicine and a leading authority on science-based natural medicine.
Debi is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition, a personal trainer, and whole health coach.
Teri is a is a Certified Coach Practitioner with extensive certifications and experience in holistic medicinal practices.
Dr. Rav Ivker
Dr. Rav Ivker is a holistic family physician, health educator, and best-selling author.
Susan writes about the connection between plant-based diets and a reduced risk of chronic diseases.
Dr. Rob Brown
Dr. Brown's blended perspective of healthcare includes a deeply rooted passion for wellness and spiritual exploration.