March is here and spring is in the air! With the seasons changing, it’s more important than ever to make sure you are maintaining a healthy lifestyle and practicing healthy habits especially with the weather changing. However, besides the obvious suggestions of diet and exercise, we decided to dive deeper with some of our physicians to determine what else is needed in order to stay “healthy.”
A healthy body goes hand in hand with a healthy mind. Stress is prevalent in all of our daily lives. It is crucial to make time for yourself and keep your mind healthy in order to effectively complete the tasks life presents to us.
“Spend even five minutes a day calming your mind and there are proven health benefits, including a lowering of blood pressure and hormonal corrections such as reduced cortisol levels, which are associated with inflammation in the body,” suggests Dr. Matthew Kaufman. “Workplace decision making will improve and an ability to ‘receive without reacting’ will give you a competitive edge. Focus on breathing and attempt to eliminate any nagging thoughts while sitting comfortably in a quiet space.”
Oftentimes, busy individuals do not even realize they’re stressed until presented with some alarming signs externally.
“Thinning hair or hair loss can be a sign of stress and one may need to adjust their current lifestyle or habits in order to fix this problem,” says Dr. Eric Chang, “Taking the time out to do something you enjoy can relieve stress and make a huge difference in one’s health.”
Brush and Floss
Good oral hygiene has proven benefits not only to prevent cavities and gum disease, but also for cardiovascular health (not to mention you won’t be avoided in social situations due to bad breath). Spend at least two minutes each on brushing and flossing twice a day, and consider using an ultrasonic toothbrush which is recommended by many dentists.
Wash your Hands
Handwashing is the most effective way to minimize the chance of getting sick, especially during the change of seasons. Furthermore, there is a concern at gyms regarding the transmission of MRSA bacteria (Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureus) due to machine and weight hand contact which can lead to severe skin infections or abscesses. “Make sure to wash thoroughly after your workout but before you leave the gym so as not to bring any extra creatures home to loved ones,” Dr. Kaufman says.
The incidence of skin cancer is increasing and measures must be taken to stay protected. Sunscreen application should be part of one’s daily routine and is necessary year-round, not just in the summertime. Choose a product with UVA and UVB protection and an SPF 30.
Take your Vitamins
Vitamin D deficiency is very prevalent. Low vitamin D levels are associated with muscle weakness and fragile bones that can make you susceptible to sports injuries. Depression has also been linked to insufficient vitamin D. Make sure to choose a supplement that provides 2000 IU’s of Vitamin D3. “Brittle nails can be a sign of vitamin deficiency. One can easily fix this problem by maintaining a healthy diet and taking vitamin supplements when needed,” Dr. Chang suggests.
Being properly hydrated is key in maintaining a healthy body and clear skin. Dry skin can be a sign of dehydration, and dehydration can lead to many other health problems if not corrected. The Mayo Clinic suggests that men should be drinking about 15.5 cups of fluid for men and 11.5 cups a day for women. Of course, we recommend that you listen to your body and increase or decrease this amount based on your weight or activity level as needed.
Follow these tips and you’ll undoubtedly feel refreshed for spring! Stay tuned for upcoming blogs and subscribe to our bimonthly newsletter.