6 Health Tips For Spring

Spring is a time for renewal, growth, and expansion; we feel it in the air. Even though we can do this at any time during the year, it feels just right to do it during Spring. We seem to have that extra energy and focus to get physically active, take action, and create change.

As we enter a new season, here are some tips for you and your family to have a HEALTHY SPRING:

1. Declutter/organize your medication cabinets

The winter months can take a toll on your health. From common cold medicines to antibiotics, we tend to stock up our medicine cabinets, and after a few months, those cabinets can look like a war zone. Take this time to go through and throw out any expired medications, loose pills, empty bottles and boxes, and any unused antibiotic medications.

2. Sign your kids up for swimming lessons

Drowning is the leading cause of accidents and deaths in children. But kids aren't ready for formal swim instruction until they're 4 years old, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Until then, never allow babies or toddlers near a pool unsupervised—even for a minute. Most drownings occur in kids under 2 years old.

3. Start thinking of allergy season

If you know you're prone to sniffles and sneezes as the weather warms up, now is the time to stock up on allergy medications. Claritin and Zyrtec are common allergy medications that can be purchased over the counter. Nasal steroid spray and other prescription-only drugs may also ease your allergies. Consult with your Primary Care Manager to discuss your symptoms and find out what would work best for you.

4. Take a walk

Take a walk during your lunch hour. Sitting at a desk all day, sometimes with bad posture, is very poor for your health. A walk will get you away from your desk and provide moderate exercise.

5. Change your pillows

Some experts estimate that, after five years, up to 10 percent of a pillow's weight is made up of allergy- or asthma-provoking bacteria, pollen, fungi, mold, and dust mites. Disgusting, yes, so take steps to allergyproof pillows with protective covers that seal out allergens, and wash pillowcases with hot water weekly. Can't remember when you bought your pillows? Experts recommend tossing them every 5 years.

6. Create a better sleep routine

The recommended seven to eight hours of sleep are an extremely important time for your brain and body. In fact, cutting your snooze short by just one hour can directly affect your health. Everything from your mood to your immune system to your risk of weight gain can get thrown off kilter if you aren't getting enough sleep. But getting proper rest isn’t as simple as getting in bed at a certain time. When you go to sleep, melatonin levels should rise as cortisol falls, but checking your emails and social media from your phone at 11 PM spikes cortisol and blocks melatonin production. Decide what time you're going to bed and set a timer on your phone for one hour before that time. When that timer goes off, no more social media, youtube or emails. Turn off your TV and computer. Dim your lights. Get ready for bed and the day ahead of you. Creating a routine is key.

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