Spring cleaning is a concept ingrained in many of us every March and April as we get rid of the winter and welcome the spring. For me, this includes catching up on dusting, cleaning out the garage, and storing away winter clothes and linens until the fall. But this year, I’m trying something new. I’m spring cleaning my body with a few simple steps and I’d love for you to join me! Here are five ways to spruce up and renew in 2018!
#1: Drink More Water
One of the leading causes of weight gain, fatigue, headaches and a plethora of other health issues, is dehydration. Seriously, water is important and it helps your body to run at its most efficient state. Think of your car: It gets sluggish, gets poor gas mileage, and starts to have major mechanical problems when it’s low on oil. The same is true about your body when it comes to water. You need water to flush out toxins in your liver and kidneys. Being hydrated also helps you achieve clear, soft skin and radiant hair.
Success Tip: Get a measured water bottle and set an alarm on your phone. Every time your alarm goes off, you know you need to finish the contents of the bottle and refill it. After the first few times of refilling, you will get in a routine and be on the road to success.
#2: Swap Hard Liquors for a Glass of Red Wine
A lot of diets call for you to drop alcohol completely, but this is not a “diet” and so we are taking a more practical approach. Instead of drinking hard liquors, which don’t offer any health benefits, swap out the hard stuff for a glass of red wine. There are multiple studies that show the benefits of wine on heart health. The antioxidants in red wine, particularly, are proven to reduce arterial plaque (build up in the arties), which reduces the risk of heart disease.
Success Tip: If you are not a huge fan of cabernet, don’t sweat it. Take the opportunity to try a variety of vinos, from merlot to pinot noir. You can also chop up some of your favorite fruits to add to your wine of choice and have a fresh carafe of sangria on hand to share with guests—or keep all to yourself—but just think, you’ll get your desired stress relief with an extra side of fruit!
#3: Get to Steppin’
I’m not telling you to run out and purchase the latest trending pedometer to count your steps. What I am telling you is to simply take a walk. Walking is the simplest exercise you can do every day, and just 30 minutes of constant walking can significantly improve your cardiovascular health and add up to some major pounds shed. The best part? You don’t have to power walk to reap the benefits.
On a personal note, I have arthritis in my knees, so intensive workouts and “leg days” are not great for me. However, after my last child was born, I had 20 extra pounds to lose and knew that I needed some sort of exercise to drop the weight because breastfeeding wasn’t cutting it. So, what did I do? I started walking a few days a week. First, I just went around the block once, then I progressed to a few blocks, then I started focusing on miles. Within three months, I was walking two to three miles, four days a week, and I dropped 25 pounds. True story!
Success Tip: It’s important to note that I did not walk faster than a leisurely stroll during my walks. What gave me a bit more muscle power was that I was pushing a baby in a stroller while walking, but none of it was uphill or on rough terrain. I literally just took my time and walked. It was truly that simple.
#4: Make a Rainbow on Your Plate
Colorful veggies are packed full of antioxidants and are necessary for a healthy body. Each color represents a different antioxidant so don’t skip on getting a variety of colors on your plate every day. Easy enough, right?
Success Tip: You don’t have to eat a salad every day to reach your goal. Try replacing spaghetti noodles with zucchini and squash curls. Pair with a veggie-based red sauce and you’ve got a delicious and satisfying meal that meets the mark!
#5: Drop the Soda and Pick Up Some Tea
A great way to detox your body is to simply stop drinking soda, both regular and diet. Soda is hard on your liver, and excessive consumption can cause a fatty liver and side effects that are just as bad as excessive alcohol.
If you still want something flavorful to drink that isn’t water, try brewing yourself some tea. Freshly brewed tea, served hot or poured over ice, is packed full of nutrients and antioxidants. It’s a great way to get a refreshing, drinkable snack, while also giving your body a healthy boost.
Success Tip: There are literally hundreds of flavors of tea on the market, and many of them offer different health benefits. Try picking up some variety packs and giving them all a try to see what you like best. Need something sweet in your drink? Add a touch of stevia to satisfy your sweet tooth without compromising the benefits.