7 Steps to Spring Cleaning Your Lifestyle


 
7 steps to spring clean your life & diet

New leaves are sprouting, flowers are blooming, the sun is shining... It's official: SPRING IS HERE!
Along with the warmer weather and longer days we start focusing on spring cleaning our homes to get ready for this new season. So, why not dust off our eating habits and lifestyles as well? You know, get working on your summer body.
Do you want to know where to start? Read on!

1. Seasonal produce (FRESH!)

With the change of seasons, our available produce can also change. Try to eat the local fruits and vegetables that are in-season. Usually, this includes tomatoes, different berries, avocados and pineapples. Seasonal produce is ripe and ready during that specific time of the year for a reason. The spring-produce is usually very high in antioxidants to fight off any possible stress or damage that occurred during the winter. We usually fall ill during the winter time, so spring's produce aims to support our bodies to get back in shape and healthy again. It is also perfect to refresh your body for this new, fresh season and assists to boost your energy levels. New season, new energy!

2. Bulk meals with salads, vegetables and fruit

As the weather is getting warmer, it is just generally much easier to chop a beautiful green salad alongside your meal. Long days and garden lunches are almost synonyms for light meals and glorious salads. By prepping a colourful salad with every meal, it helps to make sure you reach your vegetable and fruit requirements. This also boosts your intake of various minerals, vitamins, fiber, prebiotics and probiotics. Keeping you healthy all the way. 

3. Stay hydrated

Hydration is very important for almost all bodily functions. After all, almost two-thirds of our bodies consist of water! Water is essential for our survival: From supporting brain function to our metabolism. Daily, our bodies use a lot of water. In hotter conditions, our bodies' fluid requirements increase due to higher losses (via sweat mostly). Since we tend to be more active in warmer weather conditions, we also have some additional fluid losses due to the increased activities (plus of course, due to the weather). We must make sure that we replenish any losses and keep up with the demand.

  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water
  • Drink water between meals (especially when you feel peckish!) 
  • Limit caffeinated drinks. You can count herbal, non-caffeinated teas towards reaching fluid goals
  • Add fruit slices to your water for a refreshing taste
  • EAT your water! Loads of vegetables and fruits have high water contents. Include items like cucumber, spinach, tomatoes, most berries and watermelon.  

4. Exercise and Physical Activity

Sun's out, gun's out, they say! To be active is such a crucial element of healthy living. Physical activity boasts a wide range of benefits. You can expect reduced risks of various diseases, stronger bones, improved mental health (decreased levels of depression and anxiety), weight management and that's just to mention a few of the advantages to getting active!

But, before you feel totally negative or hopeless, you don't have to suddenly start training 6 hours a day! Just get outside - and embrace the warmer weather! Take small steps to being more active.
  • Take a walk with the family, go cycling together or plan a nice hike
  • Play with your dogs
  • Choose to take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator
  • Join a sports club (like a tennis club or running club for example)
  • Put on your best playlist and just DANCE with your friends, family or do it alone!
  • Throw around the frisbee or basketball in your park
  • Play some friendly soccer matches against your friends! 
Small bursts of activity can contribute to your "active minutes", and if you get outside while doing it, you can also enjoy some fresh air, you can get some sun on your skin (yay for vitamin D levels!) and get a change of scenery from the indoors.

5. Take care of yourself

Self care. I cannot emphasize this point enough! By taking care of ourselves,  we immediately feel more inclined to make other "positive" decisions as well. Ideas that you can explore for self care include:
  • Read a book, or listen to an audio-book 
  • Make your favorite cup of tea or coffee
  • Meditate, do yoga, or connect spiritually to calm your mind
  • Do a home-based manicure and pedicure
  • Listen to music
  • Form a routine for your skincare, washing your hair and so on!
  • And most importantly: REST when you feel you need to slow things down!
Take time to replenish your own tank - don't criticize yourself if you struggle to make the "better" choice, but rather motivate yourself to try again next time!
7 steps to spring clean your life and diet

6. Healthy Hobbies

Spending your time differently can also boost positive moods and motivate you to make better (and healthier) choices! Spring is the perfect time to also try some new hobbies! That way, you can also spend your time and energy on something new and exciting - getting you away from the couch, endless series binge-watching and away from mindless eating!

Some fun Spring-time hobbies include:
  • Gardening: Get your flowers ready for this warm, blooming new season!
  • Cycling in a nature reserve or park
  • Read outside
  • Play outside with your kids
  • Plan fun picnics in the park
  • Get Artsy! Do some crafts, doodle, make something from scratch!

7.  Sleep!

Gather enough time to rest! The new weather and season can only be enjoyed if we have the energy to do fun things… So, make sure you get around 7 - 9 hours of good quality sleep every night. Remember, we can’t “binge-sleep” over weekends - we can’t catch up on lost sleep. Make it your priority to have a sleeping schedule - AND STICK TO IT! Go to sleep around the same time and wake up at set times. This will improve your sleep quality. You may also try some of these tips to get better quality sleep:
  • Be mindful in your daily life (about what influences your life)
  • Limit evening screen-time: Avoid screens around 2 hours before bedtime
  • Be active and get natural light (outdoors) throughout the day
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks in the afternoon and at night
  • Evaluate your bedroom: Is it a comfortable temperature? Is it dark enough? Is it free of disturbing sounds or noises? Are your pillows and mattress comfortable? 
Take pleasure in making small adjustments daily. Don't try to change EVERYTHING in one day. Take it one day at a time, and just try to make the best decisions you can. We should remember that habits will form over time; and by making small adjustments consistently, you will eventually clean out all of your bad habits. And, that's okay to be patient and take your time

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