It's official--spring has finally sprung! With the change of seasons comes longer days filled with warmer weather, budding flowers, the desire to start fresh after a long winter, and most commonly, a laundry list of seasonal health concerns. One of the best parts about springtime is the opportunity to focus on your health. Whether your goals entail refocusing on your forgotten New Year's resolutions to get in shape by summer, or simply just spending time outdoors soaking in vitamin D, spring is the perfect season to start fresh. Before you get caught up in springtime health concerns, let's take a look at the most common spring health myths.
“The change in temperature during the transition of a season is what's making me sick.”
Simply put, this is 100% not accurate. If you have a track record of getting sick during the transition of seasons from winter to spring, it's not a result of the increase in temperature but rather due to the trees, grass and pollen that are reappearing in your environment that can aggravate your allergies.
“I’m too old to develop seasonal allergies.”
Even if you didn't have seasonal allergies as a child, you could still develop them as an adult. If you're experiencing symptoms ranging from itchy, watery eyes to excessive sneezing to coughing or difficulty breathing, see your doctor for an allergy consultation. Before your doctor's appointment, try and note down information about when your symptoms occur, how frequently, where you were, what you were doing and any triggers you can think of. Experiencing the symptoms mentioned above while indoors doesn't exclude the possibility of being seasonal allergies because pollen can sometimes find its way into your home.
“You should never go outside without first applying sunscreen.”
The importance of lathering in sunscreen for skin cancer prevention has been drilled into our heads. The increased awareness of the importance of sunblock has caused many people to become vitamin D deficient. While sunscreen is essential to protect your skin, it's ok to head outside sun-block free in the morning or late afternoon to safely absorb vitamin D naturally for a short period of time.
“A spring detox diet can help achieve my summer body goals.”
While many people believe that so-called detoxes with juice or other liquids can help you quickly lose weight, clear your skin or purge toxins from your body, there simply is no quick fix or one cure for all your health problems. Instead of searching for a brief detox regimen, try incorporating small yet meaningful lifestyle changes that will improve and balance your health over time.
“Ticks don’t come out until late summer.”
Unfortunately, peak tick seasons begin the same time as we head outdoors to enjoy the spring weather. When ticks bite, they can transmit bacteria into our bodies that can find its way into our bloodstream and cause illness like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. When in heavily wooded or grassy areas, use permethrin on your clothing and DEET-based bug repellent on your skin to protect yourself. After coming inside from these areas, thoroughly inspect your clothing and body, including your hair and ears, for any nestled ticks. If you find an attached tick, remove it with a tweezer and thoroughly clean the area. If you develop a fever or rash within a few days of removing the tick, see a doctor.
With these spring health myths exposed, you can enjoy the warmer weather with a better understanding of your health and wellness.