It’s that time again.

Spring– the season that invites us to clean up and clear out our old things and improve our health after a long winter.

A long winter tends to prevent a lot of people from being as active as they would like.

A recent poll showed 59% of women gained an average of 4.5 pounds in winter. One reason for the added weight is colder temperatures push us toward comfort foods and keep a lot of people indoors while nursing excuses for avoiding a workout.

Spring is a time where everything in nature comes back to life, and that can include your health too. Sunshine and warm weather remind us that life does exist beyond our cozy bed under the blankets and our warm food in the kitchen.

We’ve put together a list of some spring health tips that will help regain your inspiration and drive to get healthy and stay healthy all year round!

5 Fresh Spring Health Tips

1. Clean Out Your Pantry

It’s a challenge, we know. Those cookies have been your loyal companion during the last few months. But it’s time for you to let them to go.

Set aside time to go through your pantry and clean out any junk food that is not conducive to a healthy lifestyle or that summer body you’re working for. Food sitting around and available will most likely get eaten and calories can add up quickly.

Don’t use excuses like, “This is wasting money” to avoid throwing it out. The money’s already spent–it’s called a sunk cost. Eating remaining food because you already bought it will only cause you to take a step back from your healthy goals.

2. Buy Local, In-Season Produce

spring health tips

Spring is one of the best times to stock up on fresh produce and ditch items like canned vegetables. Fresh fruits and vegetables like strawberries, peaches and artichokes are at their peak and should be taken advantage of.

Finding healthy salad recipes to combine all the ingredients makes meal time even more exciting.

As an extra spring health tip: don’t hesitate to ask farmers at food markets what their favorite food combo with their product is. If they grow it, they have more than likely tried it in various ways.

3. Toss Your Worn Out Running Shoes

Throwing out old running shoes is one of the spring health tips for two reasons:

  • Replacing your old running shoes with new ones will motivate you to get active. Getting a newer, flashy pair of shoes will make you want to show them off and get you excited to use them.
  • Despite wanting to replace old running shoes, needing to replace them is actually a health concern. Running shoes should be replaced about every 500 miles you put on them. Wearing worn down shoes can damage your back and your feet.

4. Get Outside Each Day

Time to enjoy that warm weather you’ve been waiting for! Set a goal to get outside daily to walk, run, bike, garden, or whichever activity you enjoy.

Getting sunshine helps you get your vitamin D (but wear sunscreen) and can relieve stress. Exercise also releases endorphins and strengthens your heart. Working out will also help you lose weight and feel healthier.

5. Start a New Hobby

spring health tips

Everyone has something they’ve always wanted to learn or try like cooking, sewing, kickboxing, etc. Spring is a fresh start to feeling energized and ready for something new.

Many places offer a free first class, so make sure to call and ask about that and any other offers they have. Groupon also has plenty of options for local “things to do”, many of which include doing it with a partner.

Starting a new hobby is one of our favorite spring healthy tips because it will increase happiness, which decreases stress and risk for high blood pressure. Doing activities even twice a week that make you excited and happy can make a big difference in your life, both mentally and physically.

Each season or month is a new way to reboot your health goals and do some introspection on how you’re doing. If you’re not doing as well as you’d like, set goals with a partner to inspire more accountability. If you’re already doing well, keep going!

Getting and staying healthy by forming habits will help reduce blood pressure and risk of heart disease, diabetes, or stroke. Being healthy also makes you happier! What more of a reason do you need?