I love everything about Spring. The cool crisp air, the gorgeous blooming trees and flowers and the longer days. Spring is when I do my annual home deep clean. This year though I am taking a different approach. I’m starting my Spring cleaning with me first. I shared in a previous post that I recently I lost my beloved mother-in-law. She had been living with us and we were very close. I miss her terribly. Her sudden and unexpected death from a heart attack really got me thinking about my own health and whether I was truly managing it pro-actively enough. So I sat down and drew up my own personal Spring cleaning check list. Here’s mine:
- Get a baseline mammogram. If you have turned 40 and have not had a baseline mammogram or have a family history of breast cancer, please get one. It can save your life. I put mine off because when I turned 40 I was pregnant with D2. At my annual check-up last month, our family doctor chastised me for not getting it done sooner. Well, it’s done and I’m happy to report I got a clean bill of health. I’ll get my follow up next year and have vowed to be more diligent about my self-examinations each month.
- Get an annual physical. My health insurance plan requires that I have an annual physical in order to get a preferred wellness rate. I also had my blood pressure and cholesterol checked. It’s imperative that you know your numbers. 500,000 women a year die from heart disease – a largely preventable disease when you understand your risk factors. I’m fortunate that my cholesterol is quite good but my BMI is bit higher than I would like so I continue to work on shedding a few pounds.
- Shed excess baggage. I’ve shared before that I’m on Weight Watchers and absolutely love it. I’ll be on WW until I reach my goal weight which I hope to reach this later this year. Whether you’ve got 100 pounds or 10 pounds to shed, Weight Watchers is a very sane and doable plan that will help you change your eating habits and your thinking about food and nutrition.
- Buy new athletic shoes. Most people wear their running shoes for far too long. Old shoes contribute to foot, joint and back injuries. On average, you should replace your running shoes every six months. If you are a high-mileage runner, you may need to replace your shoes even more frequently. Additionally, you should buy the proper shoe for the proper sport. Running shoes are typically not good for aerobics-type classes like Zumba or Turbofire. And cross-trainer shoes really shouldn’t be worn if you do a lot of running. Besides, don’t you want a fancy new pair of kicks to go with those cute new work out clothes? Which brings me to…
- Buy some fabulous workout gear. Exercise is so much more fun when you are wearing cool gear – no baggy sweats and oversized t-shirts here. Now I like to look cute but I don’t like to spend a lot of money on exercise clothes. Right now I’m loving the Gap’s new workout line and the Champion line at Target.
- Rev up and revamp my work out. If you’ve been doing the same 35 minutes on the elliptical trainer or treadmill, time to bust out of your rut. Get outside and run, climb stairs or take up a new walking routine. Mix it up with some DVD workouts. I’m currently obsessed with Zumba and Turbofire. I love music and love to dance so these two workouts really get me going and burn tons of calories. Make sure you also build in a stretching routine to prevent injuries and keep your bod supple.
- Head to the dentist. Many people hate getting their teeth cleaned and I’m one of them – all that scraping and poking just gives me chills. Most dentists recommend getting your teeth cleaned every six months. Not only do your pearly whites look better, it’s critical for removing the tartar from around your gum line that causes gum disease.
- Freshen up that make up and hair. A fab haircut and modern make up will do wonders for your executive presence. Like most working moms, I sometimes struggle with pulling myself together but I know I feel so much more confident when I look good. Work with your stylist to update your cut or add a bit of color. Head to the make-up counter (I’m a M.A.C. girl myself) to get lots of good (and most times, free!) tips on the best looks for you. You can buy their suggested products or head to your local drugstore for less expensive alternatives. Lastly, don’t forget your nails! A good mani/pedi not only feels great, they help you look sharp and put together.
- Develop my spiritual life. How you look on the outside doesn’t matter if you feel like crap on the inside. I truly believe in the mind/body connection; developing your spiritual life whether it’s through meditation, developing a devotional practice or simply taking time out for reflection every day is vital to your mental health and well-being. I’m working on my morning devotional practice to help me remember to “check in” to what’s going on in my life. Check out this post on practical tips for developing your own spiritual practice.
That’s my Spring cleaning list for this year. What’s yours?