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Are you ready for some spring cleaning? This season is a great time to clear out the clutter and create new 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
Sleep plays an important role in overall health. After reviewing more than a dozen studies, researchers found that getting less than seven to eight hours of sleep every night can dramatically increase your risk of stroke and heart disease. Other research suggests inadequate sleep can reduce insulin sensitivity, negatively impact blood sugar, and even increase your risk and severity of gum disease. This spring, strive to get more sleep to reduce your risk of long-term health problems.
2) Improve Your Brushing Routine
The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice per day, for two minutes at a time, to prevent cavities and periodontal disease. Proper brushing technique helps you eliminate harmful plaque and bacteria that collect between your teeth and on your tongue. This spring, look over the ADA’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 opportunities to hike, garden, or play outdoor sports. This season, shake off the winter blues and look for opportunities to get out and get active. Whether you want to take a bike ride or play a round of golf, partake in the activities that you enjoy the most. If you do not 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
Sunscreen protects your skin from the sun’s damaging rays and minimizes your risk of developing skin cancer. Nevertheless, many people do not apply as much sunscreen as they should and rarely reapply. This means they are receiving 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. Exposure to natural light, especially early in the day, can help you program your circadian pacemaker and regulate your sleep and wake rhythm. Even though it may seem difficult, try to stick to a consistent wake-up time in the morning 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 outdoors is more beneficial than your ordinary gym workout. Outdoor training enhances your experience by lowering your blood pressure, reducing stress levels, and promoting greater mental health. This spring, get out of the gym and exercise outdoors for an enhanced overall experience.
7) Schedule Your Dental Checkup
Have you made time to schedule your routine dental checkup? Regular oral examinations are crucial for your dental health and should be a part of your schedule. Seeing your dentist regularly is the best way to catch potential issues before they turn into more serious problems. During your examination, your dentist or hygienist will clean your teeth and check for any signs of oral health issues. If an issue is found, he or she will advise you on the best course of action.