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11 Ways to Give Your Health an Overhaul

It’s almost time to spring forward—into spring. As the weather warms, the skies brighten, and the days get longer, March provides the perfect opportunity to jump-start healthier living habits.

Whether you’re looking to adopt better practices for a fresh start or improve upon an already healthy lifestyle, these tips can put you on the right path:

  • Get moving: Strive for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week, and muscle-strengthening activities at least two days a week. (Note: Before starting an exercise routine, check with your primary care physician.)
  • Trade up to a healthy diet: Leave the heavy cold-weather comfort foods behind for lighter fare; incorporate more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products into your meals.
  • ‍Commit to breakfast: It really is the most important meal of the day. Plan for a healthy breakfast high in protein and low in fat.
  • Rethink your drink: Substitute water for sugary beverages and fruit juices; a squeeze of lemon or lime will brighten up your H2O!
  • Get enough shut eye: Adults need at least 7 hours of sleep per night; children ages 6–12 need 9–12 hours; and teens need 8–10 hours.
  • Butt out: Quit smoking. It’s hard, but you can do it. Enlist the help of your physician or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for free support.
  • Stay safe in the sun: Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. When outside, wear light, long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and a wide-brimmed hat. To protect your eyes, wear sunglasses that offer UVA and UVB protection.
  • Keep the pearly whites clean: Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and don’t forget to floss. Schedule regular cleanings and checkups to stay ahead of any problems.
  • Get checkups: Schedule an annual checkup with your family physician and stay up on preventive tests such as mammograms and diabetes screenings.
  • Remove allergy triggers: Springtime brings both outdoor and indoor allergy triggers such as pollen and dust mites. Control allergy symptoms by regularly washing linens, avoiding outdoor time when the pollen count is high, and consulting your doctor about how to alleviate symptoms.
  • Take history lessons: Talk to family members and keep track of any history of diseases or illnesses that might be genetic.‍