Your Spring Health Guide
Spring is the perfect time to shake up your winter routine and put some spring back in your step. We’ve got tips to help you spring clean your lifestyle to boost you and your family’s health and vitality. Whether its lightening up your plate or getting back to outdoor play, here are more than 15 ways to kick start your spring!
Spring clean your body and mind
Spring signals to many of us to clean up our homes, shake up our habits and tune up our health and fitness. Here are some ways to get healthy in mind and body, safely.
- Power up with a plant based diet. Vegan and whole foods plant based diets are becoming increasingly mainstream and can make use of great spring produce. But going vegan is more than cutting out meat. Great tips on how to swtich you or your child's diet safely.
- Spring clean your body. Don't fall into a diet fad trap of detoxing and cleansing. Instead, follow these three nourishing steps to total nutrition and spring wellness.
- Match your food to your mood. Spring’s here: get happy. If your mood is still stuck in the winter blahs, here are some tips for eating well to ward off the blues.
- Shake off the sugar. Spring brings fresh, sweet fruit and produce. It’s the perfect time to try cutting sugar from your diet to reduce sluggishness and boost health.
Get outside and play
Warmer spring weather is a perfect time to get outside and be more active.
- Hike. Try one of our many local trails – Vancouver Trails provides info on difficulty, distance and time to hike for trails across the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley and Whistler/Pemberton region.
- Walk. Not quite ready for hiking? Walking doesn’t require special gear and can be done by anyone – the key is to make time in your day and help your family stay active. Check out our guide to help you walk your way to health.
- Get the kids away from the screen. Long dark winter afternoons may be perfect for watching movies, but spring brings a new opportunity to get your kids off screens and on to other activities. We’ve got some kid-approved ideas to get your kids active in our article “Unplugged.”
Have a safe spring
- Be prepared. Accidents happen. Check out HealthLink BC’s First Aid Learning Centre to learn what to do in an emergency, as well as how to treat minor injuries at home.
- Learn how to spot a concussion. Spring sports, such as baseball and lacrosse, are fun but they can also bring the risk of concussion. If you think you have a concussion seek medical attention right away. Also, learn how to recognize a concussion in your kid and what to do if you suspect they have one.
- Protect your head. Whether riding bikes, skateboards or scooters, remind your kids to wear a helmet – and don’t forget to lead by example. Read this family’s story to find out why you should take helmets seriously.
- Bike safely. Teach your kids these bike safety tips so they can stay safe on the road this spring.
- Keep kids safe around windows and balconies. The warmer weather may have you cracking open the windows. Read this article with tips for parents and caregivers to prevent falls.
- Be sun smart. Sunlight is good for us in small doses; it helps the body make vitamin D3, is a good mood booster, and can also be used to treat certain skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. But even in spring, overexposure to the ultraviolet (UV) radiation in sunlight can also cause serious harm. Check our out sun safety tips for some safe and healthy fun in the sun.
- Take the sting out of gardening. Bee, wasps, yellow jackets and hornets are out along with spring flowers. Here are some tips from HealthLink BC on preventing stings this spring.
- Call time out on ticks. Spring hikes may mean you’re at greater risk for tick bites. Ticks are tiny bugs which feed on blood and are most often found living in tall grass and wooded areas. They are active in spring through October. Read the HealthLink BC tick bites guide for info on how to avoid tick bites and safely remove ticks if you are bitten.
Try new spring activities
- Spring Break activities. Planning a staycation? We’ve got active ideas to help you entertain your children over the spring break. Read our ideas for keeping kids engaged with 7 ways to fill 7 days with active Spring Break activities.
- Farm and petting zoo visits. Going to visit the baby animals at your local farm this Easter? Protect your little ones from animal-borne diseases. Follow these petting zoo tips to ensure they don’t take any germs home from their farm visit.
- Cook in community kitchens. Why not teach your child to cook while making new friends and contributing to your community during the break? Community kitchens offer learn to cook programs or community meal preparation groups you can join. Help your child perfect their signature recipe and share it with others.
- Easter healthy eating. For many families, Easter is all about sweets, from chocolate eggs to marshmallow chicks. Sweets are fine in moderation, and we have suggestions for how to limit their impact on you and your children’s health in our 6 healthy habits for a happy Easter article. Plus, if you want to forgo sweets entirely, but still find ways to celebrate, read our 5 healthier Easter ideas to help you think outside the basket.
- Vaisakhi food safety. Every April, millions of Sikhs around the world – and thousands in Fraser Health – celebrate Vaisakhi, a day that marks the Punjabi New Year. The Vaisakhi parade in Surrey draws upwards of 300,000 people, and many sample food from vendors along the way. Here are some Vaisakhi food safety do’s and don’ts to have a healthy holiday.
- Spring Break in moderation. Each spring, high school and university students head en masse to sunny destinations to let loose or throw parties here at home to unwind from another school term. Make sure you party safely. Binge drinking can have serious impacts on your health. Educate yourself on the 9 ways alcohol can affect your health. And drug use is exceptionally risky in the midst of B.C.’s overdose crisis, where fentanyl has contaminated the illicit drug supply. Read how fentanyl can be deadly when cut with other drugs or visit Fraserhealth.ca/overdose to learn more.
Cope with school stress
- Survive exams. Spring also brings final exam season, and with it stress. Get tips on how to survive finals and succeed without putting your mental or physical health in jeopardy. If you’re in secondary school, read our 4 ways to manage exam stress article, and if you are the parent of a child entering exam season and looking for ways to support them, check out 4 ways to help your child manage exam stress.
- Pack healthy lunches for library study sessions. Fast food isn’t great brain fuel. Take the time to power up your body to its full potential. Our health in a jar how-to article shows you how to make mason jar salads that are good for you, easy to pack and fun to eat.
- Know when you need more help. Being a student can be stressful, and long term stress can lead to depression. If you think you might be experiencing depression, our guide has simple, step-by-step solutions to help you get what you need to feel better.
- Family travel. We’ve got you covered with tips for traveling with baby and some great meal and snack ideas for road trips with your baby/toddler. Pregnant? Here are some safe tips for traveling while pregnant from Healthy Families BC.
- Healthy travel. Planning a trip this spring? Know before you go and have a safer, healthier holiday. Check out these Travel Health tips from HealthLink BC and learn which immunizations you might need for travel abroad.
- Road safety. With the warmer weather of spring, more kids are spending time outdoors at local parks and playgrounds. Be road safe, slow down and watch out for kids. Also take care when driving further distances to visit family over long weekends. ICBC has some great tips to drive safe during your travels.