Written By: Rachel Antony
That moment when you realize it’s mid May and you’ve done nothing about that new years resolution to “get in the best shape of my life”…
Do you hear an echo? The birds are awake and rumours of beach bodies are reaching our ears. It’s that time of year when you’re either excited or dreading the usually self-induced pressure to slim down to feel more comfortable in the skin-bearing outfit choices you want to rock as the weather gets hotter. You don’t have to literally mean “beach” body when you are looking for motivation; we live in the middle of the country and unless you drive out to the lake, you may not even have to rock a bikini this summer!
BUT it is always a good idea to make healthier choices in terms of food and fitness, even if that means using summer as motivation to pull up your health socks.
No tricks here. I have made a simple list of 10 Ways to Spring Clean your Health:
1. Eat more salad.
You knew this one was coming so I got it out of the way. Salad is light, cold, and an easy way to take in more vegetables. And thank goodness for juicing and Magic Bullets – they make it easy to trick ourselves into getting more greens in.
2. Clean out your fridge and cupboards.
You will be surprised by all the expired food sitting in your kitchen; toss it out and reorganize to promote healthier choices when you open the cupboard or fridge. This means sacrificing your half-finished bag of chips, and getting rid of the last cans of pop in your fridge. If it isn’t there, you won’t be tempted to eat it.
3. Spend more time outside.
This does not mean you have to train for a marathon. This can simply mean going for more walks! We spend a lot of time inside, especially when the weather is bad, so take advantage of the sunlight and restore your vitamin D levels.
4. Lower your sugar intake.
And by sugar I mean the processed kind. Swap your Nestle iced tea for the homemade kind; grab a handful of (no-butter) popcorn instead of jellybeans; stop with the juice and just drink some water.
5. Learn to cook (for reals).
Kraft Dinner doesn’t count. Not only is eating out bad for your wallet, there is a lot of extra fat, sugar, and salt that makes that food so tasty. When you cook at home you know exactly what you are putting into your food and you can adjust to meet your nutrition goals. Pinterest has made it super easy to find delicious recipes that aren’t too difficult for those of us that are challenged in the kitchen.
6. Buy SPF day cream.
Invest in a good quality, light, day cream with at least 30 SPF. Your skin will thank you (especially if you use it all year).
7. Drink more water.
Mentioned in passing up there in number 4, water intake deserves it’s own section. You will feel better if you are hydrated, and your skin, hair, and overall body will be healthier. To keep yourself accountable, start carrying around a water bottle; it seems like a hassle, but its a pretty small sacrifice for your health. There’s a reason we’ve been given this advice over and over again.
8. Get out of the city.
Take weekend day trips either out to the mountains to hike, go camping, or take a road trip to visit nearby friends or family. It will give you the chance to clear your head and take a break from your busy schedule. Sometimes we forget that our mind contributes to our overall health.
9. Shop at the Farmer’s market.
Yes it is a little more pricey, but you are getting organic, locally grown food! Plus, it’s the perfect Sunday afternoon date idea.
10. Try outdoor yoga.
In Calgary we know how to take advantage of the nice weather. As soon as it’s above 10 degrees the patios are full. Why not take a small break from the patio drinks and get your ommm on instead?
Hopefully this inspires you, or at least shows you how simple it is to spring clean your health in time for the summer season! Or you know, this is always an option: