Finally, we made it to spring! With springtime comes the fun, carefree attitude that accompanies good weather. But remember: lazy, warm-weather habits can become autumn’s unhealthy customs if you are not careful! This is why it’s important to look at the approach of summer not as just a vacation, but as an opportunity to maintain healthy routines, or even begin new ones. To that end, here are four activities we recommend that encourage a positive, healthy lifestyle during the warm months ahead.
- Exercise regularly. Of course, exercise is great for your physical health and keeping in shape, but it’s also wonderful for your mental health as well. Exercising releases endorphins, which are chemicals that interact with receptors in the brain and produce good, positive feelings and can reduce pain in a way that is comparable to an injection of morphine. Endorphins also reduce the symptoms that come from stress and anxiety. Start slowly with an exercise method that you enjoy, whether it be jogging, bicycling, yoga, or swimming. Try to match the recommendation of the Department of Health and Human Services, which calls for “at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week.” For more information, visit the Mayo Clinic’s page on the subject.
The reduction of stress on your mind and body, as well as the pure physical benefits of regularly working to keep yourself active, are highly beneficial to your vocal health. Exercise promotes better breathing and increases energy, both things that are necessary for any professional—or casual—speaker or singer.
- Do some spring cleaning. Over the course of the year, your indoor living space is bound to accumulate dust, pet dander, and a whole host of other allergens. A thorough spring cleaning of the space will remove those allergens that can be a drag on your nasal and vocal health. A good spring cleaning will not just help remove those allergens, but it will also declutter your space, providing relief from mental clutter as well. The first step to positive mental health is a nice, clean, healthy physical space. And for you singers and musicians, this might be a good time to organize all your music and declutter your practice space!
- Stay hydrated. Warmer weather means that staying hydrated is more important than ever! Follow Karen Sussman’s advice on proper hydration. If you’re not sure where to start, take your weight and divide it by 2. The number you get is how many ounces of water you should aim to drink each day. You can also “eat” some of your water in the form of water-filled fruits and vegetables like cucumbers, melons, and strawberries.
- Don’t let good habits fall by the wayside. During the warmer months, it can be easy to give yourself a little vacation from routines. Don’t let a vacation like that become permanent! Stay committed to your positive, healthy routines, especially when you feel less engaged. You don’t have to wait for the new year to make healthy resolutions, or to restart the process anytime you get a little off track. Maintain these habits so the results will continue to BLOOM.