Springtime is the perfect time to revisit your New Year's health resolutions. During the winter months, it's easy to become sedentary. But, by the time spring rolls around, the weather and your spirits are ready to get back in motion. As you start spring cleaning your home, take some time to look at your heart health and remember to incorporate these wellness tactics.
Declutter Your Diet
Spring months are a great time to incorporate more in-season fruits and vegetables into your diet. Declutter your diet and get rid of sugary and greasy foods and trade them for mushrooms, zucchini, bell peppers, and berries instead.
Inspect your fridge and pantry to get rid of any products containing trans-fats and other artery-clogging properties. Things like refined oils, processed foods, and sugary treats don't deserve a spot in your diet as these can directly affect your heart's health.
Freshen Up Your Exercise Routine
Warmer weather means you have more opportunities to get outside and exercise. There are so many benefits of spending time outdoors, not to mention that bright light exposure increases serotonin release, which can help boost your mood.
Exposure to sunlight also helps boost vitamin D production, which is vital for many functions in the body. Use the beautiful weather outside as an opportunity to incorporate more cardiovascular exercises into your days.
These activities don't have to be intense whatsoever. Activities like hiking in the woods, riding a bike, or power-walking by the park can all be excellent ways to incorporate cardio into your springtime heart health routine.
Dust Away Stress
People might joke that if you're stressed, you're going to have a heart attack. And while that's not entirely true, chronic stress does impact your heart's health. Find ways to lower your stress through meditation, exercise, or even volunteering. One study found that people with a sense of purpose have a lower risk of having a cardiovascular event like a stroke than those without a higher sense of purpose.
Springtime is fantastic for volunteering opportunities. Many of these activities are held outdoors and can incorporate some cardiovascular movement to support heart health. Events like cleaning a park or beach cleanups, volunteering at a school, or helping the elderly are all fantastic opportunities to give back and care for your heart at the same time.
Clean Up Your Sleep
Finally, you want to look at your sleep schedule. Cold, dark winter days throw your sleep schedule off track. Use spring to clean up your sleep and take control of this therapeutic practice. After all, it's called “sleep hygiene” for a reason!
Start by spending less time in front of a computer, phone, or tablet before bedtime. Ideally, you want to stop using these devices at least an hour before bedtime. Also, you want to avoid having large meals at least two hours before you go to bed and stay away from alcohol and caffeine about four to six hours before bedtime.
Other ways to clean up your sleep include creating a sleep schedule so you wake up and go to bed at the same time each day. This helps regulate your body's internal clock, and it creates a healthier sleep schedule.