Time to spring clean your health!
Use the season of spring to take control of your health.
It will soon be the beginning of spring, a time where many people look forward to the warmer months ahead and take the opportunity to give their lives a little ‘spring clean’. Whether it’s reorganising the kitchen cupboards, decluttering your wardrobe or ticking things off an ever-growing to-do list, spring awakens all of us to new possibilities.
As we say goodbye (hopefully) to the colder weather and move forward into a new season, now is a perfect time to not only spring clean your home but also to make an effort to give your health a little spring clean.
Read below to learn more about how a few small life changes can improve your health and wellbeing.
1. Fill your plate with colour.
Spring is a fresh start for nature and a fresh start for you. Just as nature buds and blooms full of colour, so too should your plate.
Colour is a useful indicator of the positive health benefits of fresh plant-based foods. Dark green leafy greens are rich in iron, B vitamins, minerals and fibre. Yellow and orange foods are often rich in carotenoids (which our bodies can make into vitamin A), while purple fruits such as blueberries and blackcurrants provide anthocyanins (a type of phytonutrient) which have excellent benefits to our heart.
Just as you ditch your heavy winter coats as the weather warms, so too remove heavy, stodgy foods and feed your body with a variety of fruits and vegetables rich in natural colour.
If you are interested to see the impact your food choices are having on your inner health, why don’t you try a Medichecks Nutrition Blood Test to uncover your body levels of essential nutrients such as Iron, Magnesium, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin D? If any of your body levels are outside of the normal range, our team of expert doctors can advise you on the changes you should make to improve them.
2. Shake up your routine.
With the cold winter weather swiftly becoming a thing of the past, use the new season to switch up your exercise routine and move forward more determined than ever. Enjoying your workout is the best way to stay on track and motivated, so stop doing the things you don't love! I
f you hate running, try swimming. Don't love yoga? Maybe a boot camp class or a quick HIIT workout is more your cup of tea. Or take advantage of the warmer weather and get outside with a hike - you'll also be taking in some much-needed vitamin D at the same time.
Make exercise a priority this spring by tracking improvements to your inner health with a blood test. Our Fitness Blood Test is the perfect place to start because it can set your personal baseline for many important areas of health, such as your cholesterol and liver health. From here onwards, through retesting you can soon have a spring back in your step.
3. Reduce stress.
Stress causes a small region at the base of the brain to set off an alarm system in the body, prompting the adrenal glands to release a surge of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, that cause the ‘fight-or-flight’ response. Cortisol plays a role in most of the body’s functioning including regulating blood sugar levels, metabolism, salt/water balance, blood pressure and inflammation.
In our modern world, for many people stress isn’t just an occasional reaction to a threat but rather a daily occurrence as a result of a hectic lifestyle. When stressors are always present, the body’s fight-or-flight response becomes chronic. If this occurs, cortisol is constantly suppressing important functions such as the immune system and this can lead to health problems including anxiety, depression, digestive problems, heart disease, headaches and insomnia.
Use the season of spring to make a conscious effort to make stress reduction a priority. There are many effective ways of managing stress, such as meditation, spending time in nature and deep breathing exercises, however, the key is to take the time to practise these things regularly.
If you frequently feel stressed, your cortisol levels could be too high, which can lead to unpleasant symptoms and a reduced sense of wellbeing. You can check your stress levels with our Stress Cortisol Saliva Tests (6). Your results will be analysed by one of our expert doctors, who can help to identify if your cortisol levels are higher than they should be.
4. Declutter your home and mind.
Your home is the place you unwind in the evenings and can feel at peace.
But there is a famous saying ‘tidy home, tidy mind’. It can be challenging to think clearly and feel at peace when surrounded by clutter, papers, and DIY jobs that are just waiting for you to see to them - so, take some time out this spring to get organised.
Start by making a list of everything that you need to do. Writing tasks down can stop you from feeling overwhelmed by the job ahead. What’s more, ticking off tasks can give you a sense of accomplishment and make you feel productive.
When you finish, you can lie back and enjoy your new fresh and inviting living space. Never underestimate the power of a good de-clutter! It will give you a new lease of life this spring.
5. Check yourself inside and out.
Use the new season as that necessary nudge to check that you are as healthy on the inside as the outside. By having health checks, you can easily track any changes and make changes, safe in the knowledge that you are doing everything in your power to achieve and maintain good health. You can get a Medichecks blood test for a wide variety of conditions including heart disease, diabetes, liver and kidney function, thyroid health and iron status. Our health tests come with expert advice from our team of Medichecks doctors and are a vital tool to understand your inner health.
Or you could try our popular Medichecks Health and Lifestyle Blood Test which gives an overall assessment of your body health and the impact that your daily lifestyle choices are having. It will assess the impact of your diet and exercise on areas such as liver health, kidney health and inflammation. Our doctors will report on your results and guide you with the next steps should you need them.
6. Awaken your social life.
Spring is the season when animals awaken from hibernation This year we will be feeling the same way as we emerge from lockdown - many of us haven’t seen our good friends and family in-person for many months.
Laughter is good for the soul, and maintaining social connections is crucial for our mental health and overall sense of wellbeing.
This spring will provide a new sense of spirit and positivity as restrictions begin to lift. Things may not go immediately back to ‘normal’, but you will slowly be allowed to meet up with loved ones and rebuild connections, for which we are all grateful.
So, make sure you set plenty of time aside for socialising this spring, as we are sure you have a lot of gossip and laughter to catch-up on.
7. Reconnect with nature.
Spring brings with it warmer weather - so this means more time outdoors, without needing to wrap up like a human burrito! We may have a few April showers, but they won’t stop us from embracing the outdoors.
Wildlife is a huge stress reliever, and there are endless opportunities to enjoy it. You don’t need to go on a marathon hike or brave outdoor swimming to gain benefits. Just being surrounded by nature, getting some sunlight, and taking in the sights and smells, has been shown to boost your mood. You will come away feeling refreshed and revitalised.
We look forward to walks in nature and watching as the trees and flowers come to life this spring. It’s time to enjoy the great outdoors!