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A Healthy Spring
Photo: Studiomill
Spring is just around the corner! And since I’m anxious to spend more time outside after a cold winter, an article caught my eye: “10 Health Tips for Spring.” 1 I found the advice helpful for my family and me.

1. Get in the Garden. Most of us don’t think of gardening as exercise, but it actually burns about 250-350 calories an hour. Weeding, mowing the lawn, raking, and planting work all your muscle groups. Plus, you’re getting fresh air and vitamin D when outdoors.

2. Sign Your Kids Up for Swimming Lessons. Drowning is the leading cause of accidents and deaths in children—yet it’s preventable! But the American Academy of Pediatrics cautions parents to not push toddlers. They recommend the age of four years for beginning lessons. And since most drownings occur in kids under two, never leave them unattended around water.

3. Start Thinking About Allergy Season. Thankfully, a few former prescription-only allergy meds are now sold over-the-counter. If these don’t work in controlling your sniffles and sneezes, see a doctor.

4. Spring Clean Your Makeup Drawer. Women don’t often think about their makeup expiring, but it does. To avoid the risk of eye infections and breakouts, toss any old eye makeup and foundation.

5. Become an Early Bird. Studies have proven that you’ll have better health if you go to bed early and wake up early, rather than being a night owl and sleeping in late. An added bonus to your day would be to get outside first thing for a dose of vitamin D.

6. Get Dirty. Usually we want to keep from getting dirty. But it turns out that some exposure to dirt is actually good for us and for our kids. Over time the common bacteria in dirt can produce vitamins and protein needed for a healthy immune system.

7. Eat Local. Buy in-season fruits and vegetables from local farmers. You’re not only supporting them, but also getting fresh-picked food high in nutrients that would have been reduced during the shipping process.

8. Take a Walk During Your Lunch Hour. Rather than sitting your lunch hour away, getting out and walking will give you several benefits: it will clear your mind, fill your lungs with fresh air, get your blood circulating, and help you to feel more positive.

9. Wear Foot-Friendly Shoes. Although flip-flops are convenient and cool to wear, foot experts warn against them. Some of the hazards are stubbed toes, a rolled ankle, tendonitis, and stress fractures.

10. Change Your Pillows. It’s unpleasant to think about, but some experts say that after sleeping on a pillow for five years, 10 percent of its weight comes from bacteria, pollen, fungi, mold, and dust mites. So if yours are old, toss them out during your spring-cleaning, and buy protective covers for your new ones.

Have a healthy, happy spring!

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By Nancy Canwell. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

1 http://www.usnews.com/usnews/photography/spring_tips/bigpicture.php?image=1

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