HEALTH MATTERS: Get ready for spring: jump start the body, mind & spirit

Maureen Goss

Spring is six weeks away. Here are six ways to jump-start the body, mind, and spirit in preparation for the season where we seem to wake up from our winter slumber:

1. Move: If you dislike doing exercise on your own, sample a yoga class, take a dance class or join a hiking/walking group. In the building where I live they have occasional wine and tap dance gatherings. I walked by once and witnessed a room full of laughing faces. It looked like fun.

2. Cut down on sugar: Try eating a clementine or a sliced banana with crushed walnuts instead of that piece of pastry. Cook sweet potatoes with your meals—they are easy to prepare and as sweet as any dessert, only loaded with nutrients. Instead of ice cream, have a scoop of yogurt with coconut and blueberries. I like yogurt with a little sprinkle of granola on top. Use your imagination.

3. Get outside: No time to do it? Just open the door, walk for 10 minutes, turn around and come back. There, that’s 20 minutes of cardio done, which is great for your heart, excellent for sluggish circulation, and good for the spirit. Get a walking buddy if you need some accountability.

4. Stimulate your mind: Join a book club, go to a lecture, or take a class to learn something new. Libraries are usually full of free opportunities — take a look at yours. Mine has a Spanish conversation class every Wednesday evening that I am thinking of attending. I have my sights on a ukulele class as well but not quite yet.

5. Socialize: Take a friend out for tea or cappuccino, for no other reason than to connect. It is good for the soul. Have a small gathering for dinner with people you do not normally socialize with. It can open the mind.

6. See an acupuncturist. We are skilled at getting the circulation moving. We call sluggish circulation “qi stagnation.” There are easy ways to remedy it with a few needles, cupping, some guasha, Chinese massage, or moxa. It is good to prepare the body for spring when just like the sap in the trees, our bodies circulation starts to move. Get a head start. A good massage can work wonders as well.

Of course there are myriad ways for each of us to give our spirits, bodies and mind a boost or even a burst. Be creative. Start now to prepare for the next season. You might just find yourself headed in a new direction for the summer and beyond.

Connecticut Media Group