When the days get shorter, colder and a little bit ‘gloomier’ - it’s harder to…
Spring is a time of renewal and is the perfect opportunity to start afresh. Get your health in order with these tips for a healthy spring.
Spring Clean Your Medicine Cabinet
Spring is the perfect time to sort through your medicine cabinet. We all have a few bottles of old medication, expired Pamol or old prescriptions hidden away. Take 30 minutes to sort through your medicine and make sure nothing is expired or no longer necessary. Many keep old prescriptions in case you need them again in the future but this is strongly discouraged!
Auckland has DUMP or Dispose of Unwanted Medicine Properly initiative to promote the proper disposal of prescription meds. Rather than flushing them, or throwing them in the bin which can impact the health of workers, wildlife and the environment, return them to your local pharmacy so they can be disposed of in a safe and legal way.
When it begins to warm, it is extra important to drink lots of water. As we age, we become less aware of dehydration and tend to drink less than we should. Good hydration not only makes you look better but makes you feel better. Consider having a glass of water before your cup of coffee, and carrying a water bottle when you go out. Proper hydration can reduce mental condition, making you feel tired or easily distracted. Water is also essential to keep the urinary tract and kidneys healthy.
Another simple way to prevent dehydration is to cut down on caffeine and alcohol. They are both diuretics, which mean they can lead to more frequent urination. Too much of this, without replenishing your liquids can lead to dehydration. Consider a cup of caffeine free-tea instead of your second coffee – your body will thank you.
Sun safety is important year-round, but especially as the weather starts to warm. Taking care of your skin lowers your risk for melanoma, which is New Zealand’s 4th most common cancer. Follow the 5 S’s – Slip, Slop, Slap, Slide, and Shade. Slip-on a shirt that covers your shoulders, slop on some UVA sunscreen, slap on a hat, slide on some quality sunglasses, and find some shade. If you are an avid gardener or enjoy spending lots of time outside, avoid the middle of the day when it is the warmest.
Add Seasonal Produce to Your Diet
Springtime veggies and fruits are a wonderful, and delicious way to add colour to your diet. In September, produce such as asparagus, brussel sprouts, kiwifruits, oranges, parsnips, avocados and yams are in season. Eating seasonally allows for the freshest produce which are more abundant and cheaper than the imported and out of season alternatives. On your next supermarket shop, look for locally grown and in-season produce to add to your meals.
Check-in With Your Doctor
As the seasons change, it is a great opportunity to check in with your doctor. Just like we take our cars to get serviced, regular checkups are essential to keep everything healthy and to monitor any issues. While many assume that you should only go to the doctor when you are sick or injured, developing a relationship with your GP and visiting annually can help early detection. Furthermore, your GP can help suggest lifestyle changes or preventative measures to keep you healthy.
Spice Up Your Exercise
Spring is the season of birth and rejuvenation so why not spice up your exercise regime. Step outside and go for a jog or bushwalk. Alternatively, try an outdoor yoga class, or join a dance class. There are many options for different fitness and mobility levels, and some retirement villages such as Greenview Park offer exercise classes. Read more on how to stay healthy in retirement.