Did you know that the official flower for March is the daffodil?
I came upon a beautiful story about one of my favorite flowers, the daffodil. They are one of the first flowers to return at the beginning of spring and are said to represent rebirth and new beginnings. Other popular meanings include faithfulness and honesty, because they never fail to return, even after the harshest winters.
This spring I have been amazed at all of the beauty and new beginnings as daffodils, jonquils, tulips and many other flowers bloom and brighten the landscape. I have also been motivated to spend more time outside enjoying the beauty.
This time of the year is perfectly designed for us to get outside, plant a garden, meditate, exercise or renew other healthy habits for our overall wellbeing. Spring is time for new beginnings and I can’t think of a better time to make healthy changes.
Choose one of the following healthy habits that you can commit to and enjoy springtime fun!
- Check out your local farms and farmers’ markets. Eating fresh fruit and vegetables while supporting your community is a good thing.
- Spring clean your house (or a room…or a closet…or even one drawer). You know that dust contributes to allergies and asthma, but did you also know that clutter can affect your health too? Disorganization makes it difficult to find items you need. “Where did I put that medicine?” “Where are my sneakers for the gym?” The more time you spend looking for these, the more frustrated you may get and the more likely you may decide just to forget about it. Clutter can also cause anxiety in many people.
- Start carrying a water bottle with you. It’s a lot easier to stay hydrated when you have the water right next to you.
- Try an exercise that invokes your inner child. Jump rope, skip, play hopscotch, and jump on a trampoline – anything that makes you remember exercise can be fun.
- Look for a new healthy recipe, and then actually make it! How many times do you pin a new recipe or tear one out of a magazine, but don’t actually cook it? (Me too!). This week, take the time to purchase the ingredients and give it a try.
- Open your purse or briefcase now and put some healthy snacks inside – maybe a few mini bags of a healthy cereal, portion controlled servings of nuts, or some fruit. One of the reasons we often make unhealthy choices while out is simply because we didn’t plan ahead.
- Eat more fish. Seafood has many benefits, from being packed with protein to providing us with heart-healthy and brain boosting omega-3 fatty acids.
- Sign up for a 5K (or a 10K, or a half marathon, or a triathlon). Choose a race you’ve never done before if you want a big challenge. There are plenty of opportunities coming up now that the weather is getting warmer. If you’re hesitant, sign up anyway. Nothing is more motivating than making the commitment and investing in yourself.
- If you see your weight creeping up, consider keeping a food record to help you identify areas you focus on. Then pick one or two small things to change, and work on those!
- Challenge your brain once this week – read a new book, do Sudoku, complete a crossword puzzle, or try your hand at a logic puzzle.
- Visit a national, state, or local park and go for a trail walk, run, or hike. Fresh air and nature always does a body good. Spring is a perfect time to get out there – it’s warm enough to enjoy the outdoors but not so hot that you are sweating a few minutes after walking out the door!
- Track how many steps you take each day (there are apps for that?). Aim to increase by 10% each week until you’re taking an average of 10,000 steps per day.
- Phytochemicals are components of plant foods that help our health. There are thousands of them out there, and scientists believe that many of them may work synergistically together in the food. To ensure you’re getting tons of phytochemicals each day, include a variety of fruits and veggies at every meal. Add some sliced banana to your morning cereal, create a salad with tons of different vegetables at lunch, and sauté some greens to go with dinner.
Be well and Happy Spring!