As spring approaches, people get ready to shed their cold-weather cocoons and embrace healthy habits. Here are six ways to jump-start your warm-weather routine and improve your physical and mental well-being.
1) Get More Sleep
After reviewing more than a dozen studies, researchers found that people are at a dramatically increased risk of stroke and heart disease if they don’t get at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night. Other research suggests inadequate sleep can reduce insulin sensitivity and negatively impact blood sugar. There’s even evidence that insufficient sleep can increase the risk and severity of gum disease. This spring, strive to get more sleep to reduce your risk of long-term health problems.
2) Refine Your Brushing Routine
It’s not enough to brush twice a day; to prevent cavities and periodontal disease, you need to do it for at least two minutes. This spring, look over the American Dental Association’s recommendations for effective brushing and make sure you are doing everything you can to ward off dental health issues and maintain a healthy smile.
3) Get Active
As the weather starts to warm, there are more and more opportunities to hike, garden or play outdoor sports such as tennis and golf. However, you choose to do it, look for opportunities to get out and get active. If you don’t have time or opportunities to engage in these activities, try to walk more with the goal of taking between 10,000 to 12,000 steps per day.
4) Slather on Sunscreen
Most people do not apply as much sunscreen as they should and rarely reapply. This means they are generally getting less protection than what is labeled on the bottle. Research indicates that ultra-high SPF (100+) sunscreens provide better protection compared to SPF 50 and below. This spring, shield yourself from skin cancer by choosing a more powerful sunscreen.
5) Regulate your Circadian Rhythm
Boost your energy and well-being by taking advantage of increased morning sunlight to set your body’s sleep clock. Choose and stick to a consistent wake-up time in the morning to program your circadian pacemaker and help regulate your sleep and wake rhythm. Even though it may seem difficult, try to wake up and go to sleep around the same time even on weekends and holidays. This will help keep your sleep-wake cycle consistent so you will have fewer nights of restless tossing and turning.
6) Exercise Outdoors
It’s no secret that regular physical activity improves both psychological and physiological well-being. According to research, however, exercising amid outdoor spaces enhances the experience by reducing even more stress and promoting greater mental health. This spring, get out of the gym and exercise outdoors for an enhanced overall experience.