With the arrival of spring comes an impulse to clean and replace the old with the new. But why stop at spring cleaning your home?
If your family spent most of winter indoors, eating heavy foods and fighting colds and flus, now is the perfect time to give your bodies a fresh start.
Here’s how to spring into health in five simple steps:
1. Get some sunshine
Despite living in one of the sunniest countries in the world, around a quarter of Australians have a mild vitamin D deficiency. Low vitamin D levels lead to poor bone health and have also been linked to multiple sclerosis, diabetes, heart disease and auto-immune diseases. The good news is that with the days getting longer and warmer, now is the perfect time to get outdoors and replenish your levels. A few minutes of mid-morning or mid-afternoon sun exposure on most days of the week is enough, according to the Cancer Council. Just make sure you protect your skin with SPF30+ sunscreen when the UV index is 3 or above.
2. Switch to lighter meals
Goodbye slow-cooked comfort foods… hello salads, stir-fries and seafood! Spring is the season for a lighter, cleansing diet. Swap heavy red meats and root vegetables for lean protein (chicken, fish, tofu) and fresh seasonal veggies, briskly cooked to maintain their crunch. Take the kids to a farmers’ market to help you gather ingredients while you soak up the spring sunshine. And if you need recipe inspiration, Jamie Oliver offers some brilliantlight meal ideas.
3. Make sleep a priority
With the days getting longer and lighter, it’s easy to let the whole family get into the habit of staying awake later than usual. But pushing bedtime back can lead to tiredness the next day and spells disaster for kids’ mood and behaviour. Adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night and school-aged children need as many as 11. Make sleep a priority in your household by sticking to set bedtimes and switch screens off at least an hour beforehand.
4. Get your heart rate going
Don’t beat yourself up if you let your fitness regimen lapse over the colder months – you’re not alone! With spring’s perfectly moderate temperatures, there’s no time like the present to reignite your motivation. Create a fresh workout music playlist, treat yourself to some new activewear and team up with a friend to make your return to fitness fun. Encourage the kids to get moving by bringing bikes, scooters, kites and frisbees out of storage and enjoy some outdoor play together.
5. Drink up
As the weather gets warmer, our bodies need more fluids to function properly. A dry mouth, dizziness, headaches and dark yellow urine are all sure signs you’re not getting enough. If plain water doesn’t do it for you, try herbal teas, miso soup, fruit smoothies or foods with high water content (like watermelon, oranges and pineapple.)
Need an extra boost?
A great way to improve both your fluid intake and your overall nutrition is to supplement your diet with one of Oz Farm’s 100% Australian-made milk formulas. Our formulas are tailored to meet the nutritional needs of each stage of life, from infants and school kids through to pregnant women, busy mums and seniors. Simply add water to create a delicious, nutritious drink packed with all the goodness your family needs to stay strong and healthy.