So , it happened. Spring mustered up the strength to declare arrival and give 'ole man winter a backseat! I thought with a great full moon and the vernal equinox back to back, it was time to post a “Equinox Health Challenge”! Here are the four health challenges I put forth to you and by summer’s arrival, about 95 days from now, you’ll be in great shape.
If you have not seen your doctor for your annual exam, schedule your appointment now. Know your ideal body weight, blood pressure and get your blood work done. Your annual GYN exam is vital as well as those mammograms. Remember to ask your family about the medical history of your relatives. It's really important for physicians to have a clear picture of your family history. Vaccinations should be up to date as well. Don’t forget the dentist. Inflammation hides in your teeth and can effect your overall health. Turns out that inflammation anywhere in your body is a bad actor. Keep those pearly whites clean.
The Challenge: Schedule all your health appointments.
This is the fabulous time of the year to eat great fresh fruits and veggies. The best vitamins come from real foods not from a multivitamin tablet. Your body actually absorbs the nutrients it needs from real food more efficiently than any supplements that you may purchase. Sources of Vitamin D are dairy and fatty fish like salmon. Also Omega 3’s are really great for your heart health and your skin. These are found in fatty fish as well. Those winter beef stews are history, bring on the green leafy veggies and yummy fish.
The Challenge: Ditch the red meat and substitute fish (salmon or other fatty fish). Eat three servings of colorful veggies per day.
You knew this was coming! I know I am more motivated to get outside when the longer days arrive. I am going to go out on a limb and suggest daily exercise, no skipping a single day, for 30 minutes minimum. You may need to walk to work, take the stairs or join in the kids soccer game to accomplish this goal. But no time like the present to figure out how to make exercise a priority in your day, It is YOUR DAY afterall, though it doesn’t always feel like it.
Challenge: Be creative and commit to 30 minutes of exercise daily.
Winter allows us all to hibernate and we tend to not socialize as much. It's time to renew those friendships. Being social and engaging in leisure time activity that involves face- to- face interaction has proven health benefits. Laughter is also great for health. Social interaction can be ten minutes for tea at work or a 30 minute walk with a neighbor. Even media connections count. Find that long lost friend on Skype or Facebook.
Challenge: Create time at work or home to renew a friendship.
Reward yourself for taking and finishing the equinox challenge, schedule that spa day for the beginning of summer. You will be toned, healthy and have some renewed friendships to celebrate!