Dr. Amy Woike, a primary care physician at the Aurora Health Center in Gurnee, recently published that there’s something about springtime that triggers our instincts to make positive changes. Those in health care like to remind our patients that spring is a great time to take a look at your overall health, unclutter it and clean it up where you.
Here are four simple ways that you can improve your overall health this coming spring:
1. Start your day with a clean diet
Finally make a pact with yourself and your family to make healthier food choices, beginning with changing your breakfast.
Instead of eating carb-filled pastries and baked goods, opt for Greek yogurt, which is filled with protein and probiotics that help your digestive tract and improve your immune system.
If Greek yogurt tastes too plain for you, try adding fruits such as strawberries or blueberries, which are not only antioxidants but also high in vitamin C.
2. Increase your daily activity
While it is important to be consistently active, spring is a great time to start incorporating some new exercises.
Try adding a new activity to your daily routine, such as walking, swimming or yoga. Remember that exercise not only benefits your heart — you will also notice other health benefits such as more energy, increased self-confidence, better sleep, weight control and stress management.
Exercise also combats serious health problems like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. A good goal for weekly exercise activity levels should be at least 150 minutes over a seven day period.
3. Schedule your family’s vaccinations
With travel season approaching, it is important to make sure you schedule a time to meet with your doctor to know which immunizations you may need.
Spring is also a good time to get your kids updated on their immunization schedule. Remember that some vaccines weaken as you age, so adults sometimes need new immunizations to protect from getting and spreading serious diseases.
4. Take extra steps to alleviate allergies
For some people, spring is synonymous with allergy season.
Some of the most notorious offenders in our area include trees such as oak, poplar, hickory and walnut, and flowers including camomile, daisies, goldenrod and chrysanthemums.
If you are in the 30 percent of the population affected, take measures this year to alleviate symptoms.
Keep windows shut to prevent mold and pollen from coming into your house and try to stay indoors for minimal contact with pollen.
Try an over-the-counter antihistamine such as nasal decongestants, nasal spray or eye drops to reduce symptoms. Speak with your doctor if you still feel lousy.
• Dr. Amy Woike is a primary care physician at the Aurora Health Center in Gurnee, located at 7505 Grand Ave. She treats patients of all ages. She can be contacted at (847) 245-8448.