March is almost here, and that means spring is just weeks away! So before you begin putting together a spring cleaning list for your home, we recommend putting together a list for something even more important: your health.

Spring 2016 is the perfect time to do some "spring cleaning" on your healthy living habits. We all admittedly tend to develop bad habits during the winter. But now that this chilly season is nearing its final days, it’s the perfect time to begin making plans that will help you spring forward into a healthier season. Even better, the changes you make don’t necessarily need to be that radical - as highlighted by the benefits of these 6 simple yet healthy springtime adjustments:

  1. Drink more water.Water is essential for our health. It allows every cell and every organ to properly function. But since we lose water through breathing, sweating, and digestion, replacing the water we lose is essential. Failing to do so will lead to dehydration, which - depending on its severity - can create a range of symptoms, some of which require hospitalization. Getting into the habit of drinking more water now will ensure that your body continues running smoothly in the months to come, and will help you avoid dehydration as the weather begins warming up.
  2. Schedule time for regular sleep. If you find that you have trouble getting enough sleep, now is the time to think about evaluating your schedule and creating more time for it. Sleep is essential for good health and affects everything from our abilities to form memories to our risk of developing certain chronic conditions. Setting aside a set number of hours to rest - at least seven, if not more - and going to bed at a fairly consistent time throughout the week will help you get plenty of beneficial sleep.
  3. Replace sugary drinks and snacks with fruits and vegetables. It’s not a secret that sugary beverages and “junk foods” aren’t exactly ideal for our health. While they can be enjoyed in moderation, during the winter many of us tend to indulge more than we should in these sorts of things due to our winter cravings. As we move into the spring months, try to cut down on how many of these you’re eating and drinking. Replacing sugary drinks with fruit can help many people satisfy their sweet tooth, while munching on carrots or similar vegetables will leave you feeling more satisfied than potato chips.
  4. Get a new toothbrush. Did you know that it’s best to replace your toothbrush every three months! It’s true! Most of us tend to stretch this deadline out more than we should - making our toothbrushes less effective - but as spring draws near now is definitely the time to get a new toothbrush. Getting in the habit of cleaning it may be a good bonus habit to get into right now, too.
  5. Start moving more. All too often, we tend to think that if we can’t work out for a straight hour, it’s not worth exercising at all. Not true! Every single step you take is a step that contributes to a healthier you. Taking the steps at work, a 5 minute walk at lunch, and just generally moving more at work and at home will help you stay limber in a society that sits more than we should.
  6. Don’t fret too much if every day isn’t perfect. No one makes perfect healthy living choices every single minute of every single day. If you find that you’re having a bad, sedentary day filled with chocolate bars, try not to fret too much. It’s when the bad days become a normal routine that you need to worry! So instead of beating yourself up over one bad day, resolve to make a better choice the next time you reach for a snack or decide on whether or not to walk around the block.

Tips like these may not seem like big changes, but the beauty of each of them is that their simplicity carries major benefits for your health. So no matter where you are in your healthy living journey, taking the time to integrate these small changes into your day may make all the difference in 2016 and beyond!

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