Well, it’s officially spring!
How are those health-related New Year’s resolutions going? Are you losing weight? Have you reduced the amount of sugar in your diet? Have you cut back on fast food?
Hopefully, your goals weren’t so lofty that reality has set in and forced you to abandon them. If this is the case, now it’s time to regroup and reevaluate your goals, develop a new and improved plan of action and jump back on the bandwagon.
Don’t wait until next year!
Now, if you’re one of the lucky 5-10% who’s already achieved your goals hopefully you’ve developed good maintenance strategies to ensure continued success. But, regardless of whether you’ve abandoned your health-related New Year’s goals or achieved them, now’s the time to make some springtime resolutions.
Spring is a time of regeneration, new beginnings, and a renewal of spirit. It’s also a great time to get your health in check. With that said, I encourage you to start your spring on a healthy foot with these three simple steps.
Get a Health Screening
Become better aware of your health status by getting a complete health screening. An ideal screening includes, but is not limited to:
- A fasting blood lipid profile to assess your cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease;
- Blood pressure measurements to assess your risk of hypertension;
- A fasting blood glucose test to assess your risk of diabetes; and
- Height and weight measurements to assess for obesity.
In addition, be sure to discuss ALL your results with your physician and make sure you understand them. Oftentimes, physicians will simply say your results are “normal” without further explanation. Take control of your health by asking the right questions!
Evaluate Your Exercise Routine
Even the perfect exercise routine can become stale after a while. If you’ve been walking since the beginning of the year it’s time to change the pace. Try new cardiovascular activities such as bicycling, rollerblading, and swimming or even water walking.
It’s also wise to switch up your weight training routine.
If you only use machines, try implementing dumbbells, barbells and kettlebells into your workouts. And, if you use 20 pounds for some exercises then change it up by adding more load and going to 30 pounds for fewer repetitions or by reducing your load to 15 pounds and doing more repetitions.
Eat Sensibly and Seasonally
I always emphasize that sensible eating is an absolute must for successful weight loss, long-term weight management, and overall good health. Eating sensibly essentially involves incorporating a diet that’s rich in adequate portions nutrient-dense foods including ‘good’ carbohydrates, healthy fats, and high-quality protein ‘sensible’ portion sizes.
You should also take some time to visit your local fresh market to stock up on all the vegetables and fruits that are in season. Detoxing is of course another great option for getting healthy for spring. There are tons of ways to do this naturally. You can initiate a juice fast for five days, cut back on refined sugars for a week, or reduce your alcohol consumption for a month.
One final note, good health is not a destination; it’s a journey. In addition to getting healthy this spring make an effort to stay healthy all year round.