Spring is a great time to go around your home and clean items and rooms that are often overlooked. It’s also a great time to clean up your nutrition, exercise routine, and mental health. This spring, focus on refreshing your mind and body to promote your happiness and healthiness.

Getting Started

Before you make changes to any part of your health routine, consult a medical professional to determine the appropriate steps to take for your personal journey. A general physician can determine the caloric intake that is right for you, recommend exercises, and check your blood pressure, cholesterol, and vitamin levels. The last part is important because you may need a specific diet or exercise routine to correct any issues. Your doctor can also screen you for depression and offer mental health consultations or refer you to a mental health professional.

When you’re stressed or feeling depressed, you are less likely to follow a diet and exercise routine. Beyond leading to struggles with diet and exercise, depression has also been linked to struggles with addiction to cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs. Often referred to as a dual diagnosis, drug addiction in combination with mental health issues is quite common and affects 8.9 million Americans.

To improve your mental health, don’t ignore your feelings. Whether you write about them in a journal or attend therapy sessions, find a way to deal with them in a healthy manner. Getting adequate sleep plays a major role in your health, from a physical and mental standpoint. Try relaxation methods, such as breathing techniques and meditation to improve your mood.

Cleaning up your space and removing clutter by donating items or moving them to a storage facility can also help you feel less overwhelmed and more focused. Yoga is another relaxation method that also doubles as exercise. Incorporating exercise routines like yoga, swimming, running, and hiking release endorphins, which boost your mood and decrease depression symptoms. What you eat also affects your mental health, so be sure you’re maintaining a well-balanced diet.

Incorporating Exercise

Wanting to incorporate exercise into your health routine is great, but set realistic expectations from the start to prevent feeling like you’ve failed. Reaching a goal takes time and effort, and results don’t happen after a week. Stay consistent, and you’ll start seeing results. That being said, experts recommend following an 80/20 rule. Accept that you’re going to give in to temptations or slack off on exercising every once in awhile, but as long as you stick to it 80 percent of the time, you’ll see results, and you’ll “develop a positive relationship with food and exercise that doesn’t involve guilt.”

Overtraining is just as bad as not training enough. It leads to fatigue and has a negative impact on weight loss efforts. Exercise is about quality, not quantity. Your body needs time to rest and recover, so spend those days practicing something light and easy, such as yoga.

Maintaining a Well-Balanced Diet

Nutrition is key to success. In fact, what you put into your body is even more important than how you exercise. “Eighty percent of maintaining the body you want comes down to what you eat rather than how hard you train,” says Women’s Health & Fitness Magazine. Measure portions instead of counting calories and focus on eating a variety of whole foods that have a high nutritional value.

Spring and summer bring plenty of fruits and vegetables to choose from, so incorporating them into your diet is a breeze. Instead of binging on unhealthy sweets, like pastries and candy, choose healthy sweet foods like strawberries and cherries. Many fruits and vegetables can be eaten a variety of ways, so find the way that you enjoy them best. For example, peas, carrots, and bell peppers can be used in place of chips when you enjoy healthy dips like guacamole. They can also be added to salads or served on their own as side dishes.Whenever you reach a goal, whether it’s accomplishing your monthly weight goal of losing five pounds or going 30 days without a cigarette, reward yourself. Accomplishing goals is hard work, so get a massage or a pedicure. Even something as simple as setting aside a night to unwind with a good book or binging on your favorite show can be a way of rewarding yourself. When you focus on nutrition, start an exercise routine, and work on your mental health, you’re becoming the best and healthiest version of yourself. You’ll feel better physically and mentally, and you’ll also add years to your life.

Photo Credit: RitaE, Pixabay