Spring clean your health

By Mariam Digges

Spring clean your health
With winter now behind us, it’s time to give your health a spring-clean with these simple seasonal wellbeing tips.

Seasonal greens

Spring summons a range of bright and nutritious new vegetables to introduce into your diet. Try tossing watercress leaves into your salad – the spicy green is rich in bone-building vitamin K. Heralded for its cancer-fighting properties, bok choy is a great addition to stir-fries or steamed as a side. Try using broccoli rabe in your next pasta dish or sautéed as a tasty side – it features even more iron and calcium than regular broccoli.

Book those appointments

Now’s the perfect time to make those appointments you’ve been putting off all year. From pap smears to bone mineral density tests (post-menopause) and colonoscopies if you’re over 50, to a trip to the dentist, skin checks, and a regular visit to the GP for a full blood test – you’ll ensure you’re in tip-top shape for the soon-to-arrive silly season.

Head outdoors

Roughly 15 per cent of Australians and New Zealanders suffer from the winter blues, which is all the more reason to get out and bask in some glorious sunlight. Experts have long said that exposure to natural light has a resounding impact on our mood, providing for a much sunnier outlook. 20 minutes of sunlight a day will not only improve your mood, it will also ensure you are dosed up on vitamin D, which has been proven to decrease our chances of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis, and even breast cancer. So grab a hat, lather on some sunscreen (water-resistant is best for when you sweat) and get out and amongst it.

Clean out the medicine cabinet

It’s time to dispose of those old ointments, painkillers, vitamins, sunscreens and beauty products. While the expiry date is your best bet for finding out what is safe to keep and what should be binned, another general rule of thumb is colour and smell; if it doesn’t look or smell right, chuck it.

Treat yourself

Whether it’s a new pair of training shoes, a full body massage, some time at a yoga retreat, or a weekend hiking outing – schedule in something you love doing that will help kick start your enthusiasm for the warmer weather. There’s nothing wrong with a little healthy encouragement if it will benefit your body and mind in some way.


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