Spring Clean Your Health Habits

Spring Clean Your Health Habits

Teresa Esterle, MD

Winter is on its way out, and COVID-19 has you staying home. If you are feeling the spring cleaning vibes, don’t forget to spring clean your health habits as well as your home! If you use this time to create new, better habits, you can help reshape your “new normal” moving forward.

  • Clean out your refrigerator and pantry. Ditch any expired foods, and while you are at it, aim for a healthier diet by clearing out the highly processed foods. Donate any unexpired non-perishable foods to a local food pantry. Aim to fill your shelves with more plant-based, organic, whole foods. Consider replacing traditional pasta with a vegetable-based pasta, for example.
  • Adjust your diet for the season. This is the time to add lots of fresh, colorful produce and salads to your diet and stop filling up on heavy comfort foods. Eat more meat-free meals and make your portions smaller. The produce section at the grocery store has remained well stocked and is the quickest to be replenished. This is also a great time to consider a detox diet! Doing a detox cleanse for a few weeks helps reset your metabolism and taste buds and starts the summer off right! If you are struggling with over-eating at home, a detox can also help hold you accountable.
  • Clean out your medicine cabinet. Again, throw out any expired medications and vitamins. This is a good time to review your supplements with your doctor, as there may be things you do or don’t need based on the season. For example, some people need allergy support for the spring, and some need less vitamin D supplementation in the summer. You can schedule a telemedicine visit or phone call to review your supplements by calling the office at 513-791-5521 or by visiting the “My Appointments” section of your patient portal!
  • Take your exercise routine outside. Now is the time to get more sun exposure (but don’t forget the sunscreen!) and enjoy the outdoors. The local parks are still open, and it is a great time to go hiking or biking with your family. Keep in mind, this should only be done with people you live with and give other members of the community plenty of space.
  • As the weather gets warmer, make sure you stay hydrated. Ditch the plastic bottles and invest in a refillable glass or metal water bottle. Fill it every day with filtered water (add some lemon or lime for healthy bones and kidneys!) and sip on it all day long.
  • Clean up your yard and consider planting a garden. Even if you don’t have a large yard, you can plant herbs and small veggies in containers. This is a terrific project to do with kids. By showing them how to grow their own food, they learn to appreciate the gifts from the earth and may start eating healthier as well. Another great skill to teach your children while you are sheltered together is how to prepare and cook the things they grow.
  • While you are helping your children contribute to family meals, this is also a good time to make family meals a priority again. Start a new tradition at mealtime, such as lighting candles, having a moment of meditation or prayer before eating, or having everyone share a good memory or something for which they are grateful.

While there are many things we can’t control in this time of social distancing, we CAN choose some positive steps to help improve our health and the health of all of our family members.

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