Throw open the windows and let in the sunshine, because spring is in the air! It’s time to start fresh now that the dark days of winter are behind us, and nothing feels quite as invigorating as a clean, well-organized home.

Why not “spring clean” your eating routine at the same time? A good spring cleaning may give you a chance to restock your kitchen with healthier choices and may get you moving in the process. When you’re ready to start cleaning, consider this advice.    

Donate those tempting treats. If there are chips, cookies, candy, and other indulgent snacks around the house, it’s time to clean them out! You don’t have to waste them though — give them away. Feeding America is a network of food banks across the country that distributes more than 4 billion meals each year through its food pantry meal programs. You can easily find a food pantry near you to donate your unopened items. You can feel good about helping someone else while also feeling good about your own health.

Make healthier eating easy by stocking the kitchen with healthy choices. According to the American Diabetes Association, all healthy meal plans include fruits and vegetables, lean protein foods, less added sugar, and no trans fat. Load up your refrigerator with foods like fresh or pre-cut fruits and vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, grab-and-go cheese sticks, and all-natural peanut butter, which are packed with nutrients and energizing when you’re on the go.

Get a workout from your clean routine. When you’re cleaning, you’re moving, and moving is a good thing according to the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The HHS suggests that adults participate in 150 minutes to 300 minutes a week of moderate intensity exercise, or 75 minutes to 150 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise, or a combination of the two.  However, be sure to check with your doctor before starting or changing an exercise routine.

In addition to that, the HHS now says, “Adults should move more and sit less throughout the day. Some physical activity is better than none.”  This spring, consider ramping up your cleaning routine by moving your body as much as you can. Crank your favorite music and dance while you mop; march in place while scrubbing dishes and do squats as you put them away; lunge as you vacuum; and take any stairs in your home a few extra times as you’re cleaning up. “Adults who sit less and do any amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity gain some health benefits,” says the HHS.  

Spring cleaning doesn’t just apply to your home—it can apply to your body and your health, too! Look at these warmer months as an opportunity to start fresh, eat healthy, get moving, and get with the new routine.

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