By Broderick Rhyant, M.D.,
chief physician executive, Eskenazi Health Center Forest Manor
As the world begins to open up again with winter subsiding and COVID-19 dissipating across the land, it’s time to experience a renewed sense of freedom, and with that comes the opportunity to begin living healthier than ever.
Spring wellness is generally defined by individuals spending time outdoors in nice weather, which results in immense health benefits such as breathing better-quality air, getting your daily dose of vitamin D, boosting your overall energy, strengthening your immune system and stress relief. Here are some tips that will help you get the most out of this time of rejuvenation for all living things.
As the days grow warmer, it’s the perfect time to go and enjoy the great outdoors. Now’s the time to take long walks or go jogging in nature while observing the magical spring growth. Get your body moving by taking a bike ride, cleaning up your yard, preparing your garden, playing softball or golf, and enjoying outdoor get-togethers with family and friends.
Spring is also a good time to try a new hobby or activity. If you’ve always wanted to try tennis, go online and schedule lessons. Trying something new may be a little uncomfortable at first, but doing something out of the ordinary or opposite of your usual routine can be interesting, rewarding and exhilarating.
While enjoying the beautiful springtime weather, you may also consider spring-cleaning your body by adding more fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet, along with whole grains, lean meats and low-fat dairy products. That course of action will help you naturally eliminate toxins and start to get your weight back in check for warmer weather, and you’ll likely feel better, too.
Having fun in the sun again is great, but don’t forget that too much sun can be exceedingly harmful. In addition to spending time in the shade, your best bet to protect your skin is to use sunscreen or wear protective clothing when you’re outside.
As you become more active outdoors when the temperatures rise, be mindful that you’re likely to sweat more than you have in months and dehydration can pose serious health risks if it becomes severe. Even if you’re just mildly dehydrated, it can cause fatigue, low energy and headaches. To prevent dehydration, it’s important to take proactive steps to drink enough water throughout the day, so keeping a water bottle handy at all times, especially when you’re working out or playing sports, is a good idea.
If you experience springtime outdoor allergies, take measures to reduce your effective exposure level by using a nasal saline solution after spending time outside. Saline sprays are available over-the-counter in stores, or you can make your own and use a device like a neti pot to flush out allergens from your nasal passages.