Spring cleaning is an annual tradition in households across America. We spend hours, even entire weekends, dusting and de-cluttering, sweeping and scrubbing. The result is a pristine home that shines inside and out.

Now, if we only spent the same amount of energy taking care of our bodies…

Just like a home, your body needs a spring refresh, too. When the springtime rolls around, many New Year’s resolutions have been broken and old habits have resurfaced.

No matter an individual’s age, fitness level or health status, a little spring cleaning can’t hurt. Below are six ways to treat your body to a spring refresh:

1. Detox

Overindulgence is common around the holidays, but continuing the celebration through the winter has consequences. Eating too much of a bad thing can sap energy, impair mental clarity, increase blood pressure and blood sugar, impact sleep and throw off your digestive system. Detoxing helps rid the body of unhealthy substances with the goal of restoring your body’s natural balance. You can begin this process yourself. Consider starting with these three effective detox strategies:

  • Hydrate: Drink plenty of filtered water or green tea with lemon. Hydration helps increase metabolism and alkalinize your body. It also helps rein in cravings.
  • Plant-based foods: Fill your plate with natural foods like fruits, vegetables and nuts. Add lean protein into your diet. If a food doesn’t fit within those parameters, you may not need it.
  • Reset your stomach with prebiotics and probiotics to introduce healthy bacteria to your gut. Purchase non-GMO products and foods. Eliminate consumption of sugars, sweeteners, carbs and gluten for two weeks to see how you feel.

2. Nourish

When frustrated with bulging waistlines or a poor prognosis at the doctor’s office, many people pledge to eat right. So, what is “right”? While this definition may vary from person to person, generally, fresh, whole food is best. Avoiding processed foods with artificial ingredients added for sweetness, flavor or extended shelf life, is recommended.

Studies have linked soft drinks and sweetened beverages (real or artificial sweeteners) to weight gain and chronic diseases such as liver disease, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, pancreatitis, osteoporosis, and obesity.

Colorful fruits and vegetables contain a variety of nutrients and contribute to an anti-inflammatory diet. Healthy fats such as avocados, nuts and seeds are also nutritious and often provide “fuel” to help nourish the brain.

Follow these five supermarket shopping tips to make your next trip to the grocery store a success:

  • Shop the perimeter of the grocery store
  • Plan meals ahead and shop with a list
  • Buy organic when possible or shop locally
  • Batch-cook items that will keep or to freeze
  • Find healthy recipes that taste good and are good for your body.

3. Breathe

In the spring, allergies from blooming trees and flowering plants cause a variety of breathing problems for many people. Air pollution can also create breathing difficulties. One solution is to flush these irritants out of the nasal passages. Nasal irrigation kits are designed to help clean air passages and improve breathing.

Spend a few minutes periodically throughout the day focused on deep breathing. Chronically low levels of oxygen can have serious consequences, causing:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Sleep apnea
  • High blood pressure
  • Restlessness

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is surging in popularity. The FDA-approved medical treatment is proven to rejuvenate the entire body by increasing oxygen levels in tissue and plasma.

4. Exercise

For some, the term “exercise” means running, biking and lifting weights at the gym. For others, it means a brisk walk around the neighborhood. Age, health history and physical limitations all come into play. Doctors often recommend moderate to vigorous exercise daily to:

  • Increase metabolism
  • Reduce risks for chronic disease
  • Boost mental health
  • Rejuvenate the body

It’s important to not rush into an exercise routine without first consulting your physician. The key is to think about sitting less and moving more!

5. Sleep

Sleep is an incredibly important ingredient in your overall health and wellness. During sleep is when the body can rest and repair. Individuals who don’t get enough sleep are at risk for higher rates of chronic disease, including obesity, heart disease, stroke and cognitive issues.

The benefits of a good night’s sleep are far-reaching, and have been shown to improve:

  • Productivity
  • Memory and concentration
  • Immune system function
  • Creativity

Another benefit of ample sleep is that it helps manage your appetite. Strive for eight hours of sleep each night and avoid eating within three hours of going to bed.

6. Replenish

Humans absorb vitamins and minerals primarily by eating and drinking. Nutrients are absorbed through the intestinal tract. Even a healthy diet might need to be supplemented with quality vitamins and minerals. B vitamins specifically play a vital role in converting food into energy (metabolism), creating new blood cells, supporting stress-related and adrenal functions and maintaining healthy skin cells, brain cells, and other body tissues. Consider speaking to your health care professional about adding a B-12 or B-Complex supplement or IV therapy to your nutrition plan. IV therapies infuse nutrients directly into the bloodstream. IV therapies can:

  • Boost energy and immunity
  • Treat migraines, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and other symptoms

As always, consult with your physician prior to making any substantial lifestyle, health or nutritional changes. For questions, please contact our office at 239-649-7400.

Start Your Healthy Lifestyle Today!

Are you interested in developing a custom wellness plan for your specific health needs and wellness goals? Our functional medicine physicians can help!

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