10 ways to prepare your mind and body for spring
As the cooler months draw to a close it’s only natural that your mind turns to sunshine, the outdoors and all things spring.
And whether you’ve kept up healthy winter and lockdown habits, or you decided to hibernate for a while, it’s crucial to set yourself up now with realistic goals for a fit and healthy spring.
Need a place to start?
A good way to begin is to assess the damage over winter and lockdown. Be honest with yourself about your eating, drinking and exercise habits, were they good or bad? What do you need to change?
By looking at the habits you’ve formed over the past few months, you’re more likely not to repeat your mistakes as it gets warmer and create better habits to stick to as you prepare for spring.
With that in mind, here are 10 ways to get your mind and body ready for spring…
1. Outline a morning and night routine
The first thing to get yourself on track for a healthy spring is making sure you have a solid morning and night routine. Your morning may include going for a walk with the dog, doing some pilates or even braving a sunrise swim. Similarly, give yourself the time at night to wind down with something like a light meditation or reading a book, whether that’s after an evening workout or a busy day.
2. Create a fitness timetable for the week
Exercise is crucial to staying healthy, so it’s important to plan out how you will incorporate it into your weekly plan. Each week you should be doing 2.5 to 5 hours of moderate physical activity or 1.25 to 2.25 of vigorous physical activity as a minimum. So make sure when writing out your timetable you incorporate a range of types of exercises with a combination of both cardio and strength. Also don’t forget to set aside time for stretching – this will keep your muscles flexible, strong and healthy as you exercise as well as reduce risk of injury.
If you’re looking for some new ways to exercise, jump over to the Live Life Get Active video hub for on-demand fitness classes.
3. Re-organise your pantry
The pantry is the centre of all things cooking, so it’s important that it’s contents are nutritious as well as organised. When re-organising your pantry, don’t be afraid to throw away any nasties you find, like sugary foods. Replace these with nutritious options like nuts, mueslis and grains.
4. Start a garden of fresh herbs and plants
No matter whether you live in an apartment or a house, it’s easy to start your herb and veggie garden. Whether you just want the basics or a full-blown veggie patch, home grown is always the most nutritious option. Another bonus is you’ll also save money at the supermarket as you won’t need to buy what you already grow!
5. Snack smarter
Snacking isn’t a bad habit, as long as you do it right. Make sure when you go to your pantry or fridge you choose snacks that not only are healthy but that will make you feel fuller for longer (so you’re not back there in a matter of minutes). These include things like nuts, healthy muesli bars or slices, fruits, yoghurt and so on.
For some healthy snack ideas, check out our pre-workout snacks you can eat anytime of day.
6. Create your shopping list with healthy food options
An easy way to ensure you’re eating healthy is by going to the supermarket or grocery with a shopping list of nutritious ingredients. Make sure to include a range of fruits, veggies, grains, lean proteins and good dairy products (or alternatives). Also go with some recipes in mind, that way you’ll know exactly what to get.
7. Make use of summer fruits in season
Spring is full of colour, and the same goes for spring seasonal fruits. Whether you prefer stone fruits like berries, figs, and stone fruits like peaches or cherries, make the most of the delicious fruits that are in season.
8. Set a curfew on your phone and limit screen time
Limiting your screen time not only benefits your eyes but also your mind. By setting a curfew on your phone, you can remove yourself from distractions like social media, and focus on what’s going on in the moment. Take the time for yourself, whether that’s trying a new recipe, reading a book, doing a round of yoga or meditating for a while.
9. Put time aside to clear the mind
A healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body. Finding ways to ease things like anxiety and stress can help the way you function in other areas of life. This may mean getting stuck into a workout, listening to music, taking deep breaths or meditating. Whatever it is, do it for you and ensure it helps you let go of negative feelings.
10. Define a sleep schedule
To improve things like productivity, mental health, physical fitness and overall quality of life, keeping to a solid sleep schedule is crucial. Not only should you be trying to practice a similar sleep routine each night, also ensure your sleeping environment allows you to relax and fall asleep more easily. Things like meditation can help if you struggle to ease your mind when going to bed.
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Australian Government Department of Health: https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/physical-activity-and-exercise/physical-activity-and-exercise-guidelines-for-all-australians
Harvard Health Publishing: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-importance-of-stretching
Eat for Health: https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/food-essentials/five-food-groups
Anxiety and Depression Association of America: https://adaa.org/tips
Sleep Foundation: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-hygiene