Why spring is GOOD for you!

5 ways Spring is good for you

by take-a-break |
Published on

Five ways nature’s favourite season can improve your wellbeing

It helps our hearts

Planning on a spring clean? Your heart will thank you for all that scrubbing and vacuuming.

Amie Leckie, Workplace Health and Wellbeing Specialist at Heart Research UK, says: ‘Regular physical activity can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 35 per cent. So, whether you’re getting that spring clean done or getting back out in the garden, anything that helps you to maintain a healthy weight is going to have a positive impact on your heart health. Even light tasks like dusting and weeding can burn around 160 calories an hour, while more heavy-duty tasks like scrubbing and vigorous digging can burn around 350 calories an hour!’

Spring crops help our gut

Research shows that our diet and gut health play an integral role in modulating our risk of several chronic diseases. And according to award-winning nutritionist and gut health expert, Dr Lucy Williamson, spring is one of the best seasons to find superfoods that are really going to give our gut a boost.

She says: ‘There’s so much to choose from in spring. Watercress is a true king of the spring greens and is packed with gut-loving antioxidants.

‘Likewise, purple sprouting broccoli and kale also deliver an excellent antioxidant boost, and if quickly stir-fried don’t lose too many nutrients.

‘Rhubarb provides fibre for gut health, especially when the stalks are young and tender.

‘Finally, asparagus is a rich source of folate and fabulous for gut-healthy fibre.’

It helps our brain

It’s useful to remember that not only is gardening good for our body, but it might also be good for our brain. Research suggests that gardening and spending more time in nature may improve our mental health. Meanwhile smelling flowers may boost mood, while doing gardening activities, such as weeding and digging, may help decrease stress.

Emma Carrington, Advice and Information Service Manager at Mental Health UK, says: ‘The arrival of spring can present a great opportunity to reset. As days get longer and the weather starts to improve it becomes a little easier to get outside and enjoy the benefits that nature can bring. Many people embrace the arrival of spring after the dark winter months and find it uplifting. If you do find yourself struggling, do speak to your GP or make a self-referral for NHS Talking Therapies.’

It’s good for our bones

At this time of year, the sun provides ample UVB rays, which are crucial for vitamin D synthesis in our bodies. Vitamin D plays a pivotal role in our bone health, aiding calcium absorption which is essential for maintaining strong and healthy bones.

‘Vitamin D synthesis also significantly reduces inflammation, particularly in our joints.

‘Increased physical activity in the spring due to warmer weather and longer daylight hours can also help strengthen bones and improves joint flexibility.

‘We also tend to drink more as the temperature rises outside, and we know that proper hydration benefits joint lubrication and overall cellular function in the body, including bone cells.’

It can help lower blood pressure

Want another reason to enjoy that spring sunshine? According to research, a healthy dose of sunlight on our skin might help to lower blood pressure by altering the level of nitric oxide in our body. Meanwhile studies also suggest that spending time in greenery and nature may also help to lower blood pressure too.

Amie Leckie says: ‘Using the spring to plant a little herb garden is a great idea. This is because herbs add lots of flavour when cooking and reduce the need for salt, which as we know if you consume too much of can contribute to increased blood pressure.’

• For more info, please visit: heartresearch.org.uk, mentalhealth-uk.org, lwnutrition.co.uk, londonosteoporosisclinic.com

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