by Renee Schofield, Certified Health Coach
As the snow begins to fade from our memory, we start thinking about spring cleaning. We scrub walls, curtains, clean out closets, and shop the white sales. We are all about sprucing up and preparing for summertime fun. What would it feel like to consider your health at the same time? Perhaps spring could be the time you checked in with your physician for an annual checkup. Consider getting some of those routine blood tests out of the way for the year. Or start planning ahead for how you can make your health a priority during the warmer months. Consider doing something you have never done before just because it’s good for you. Go kayaking, climb a mountain, take a break from meat or plant a garden so you can enjoy the freshest fruits and vegetables all season long.
We generally feel better and are more active in the summer months. Longer daylight hours and warmer temperatures give us the opportunity to spend more leisure time outside. We spend more time with family and friends during this time, as well. After the past two years of being separated, many are looking forward to the return of the backyard BBQ, little league baseball and swimming at the lake. All those things improve our general health and well-being. But taking good care of ourselves starts with checking in with our healthcare professionals to be sure we are ready for that new eating plan or exercise class so that we can look and feel our best for summer.
Here’s some tips to get started:
- When is the last time you saw your healthcare provider? If it’s been a while, schedule an appointment. With COVID, many of us had to postpone a lot of our regular care, and rightly so. However, with restrictions being reduced or lifted altogether, now is the time to check in with your provider. This is especially important if you take regular medication and your refills are coming due. Call now before the prescription expires.
- Get your annual health tests out of the way. From labs, mammograms to colonoscopy, make a list of the tests that you need and schedule your appointments. There may be backlogs due to staffing and the current patient volume. Unless you have symptoms, it is likely fine that it is scheduled a few weeks out. The important thing is to schedule and be sure to attend the appointment.
- Set your goals for the summer. What’s on your mind? Where would you like to visit? If vacation is your summer thing, now is the time to check on camping or hiking permits. It appears gas prices are going to be high this summer, so maybe a staycation is in the works for you. What does your local area offer that you have not participated in yet? Maybe it’s a volunteer gig!
- Consider a garden project. Summer brings fresh veggies and fruits! Research shows that there are significant physical and mental health benefits to gardening. Not only are you eating healthy food from your own, high-quality soil, but you are also spending time outdoors, exercising and relieving stress. Planting and caring for a garden doesn’t have to be a lot of work. Consider planning a Square Food Garden. Learn more here: gardenerspath.com. You don’t need a lot of space, but both your mental and physical health will benefit from this very small lifegiving source!
Here’s to a healthy summer for you and your family!