01 Apr Spring Clean Your Health with These 4 Simple Swaps
For most of us, the changing of seasons brings upon a season of changes. We replace our smoke detector batteries (don’t forget), change our clocks, and soon we’ll be swapping out scarves for sunglasses. It’s a rejuvenating period with spring cleaning tips in our social feeds and veggie plants in local stores.
Spring is technically here, but if lingering snow and cold temperatures are extending your winter season, use the time to get a jump on spring with a health reboot. Coming up, we have a few (four to be exact) simple swaps to put you ahead of the curve, and ready for a healthy season ahead.
1. Toss your Toothbrush
When was the last time you changed your toothbrush? If you had to think about it, it’s time to ding it. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends you replace your toothbrush (or replacement head) every three or four months. Frayed and bent bristles aren’t doing you (or your teeth) any favors. Need we remind you that it’s been a long winter? Especially if you’ve been sick this season, give your old toothbrush the heave-ho.
Tip: unless you have a high-tech toothbrush alerting you to that it needs replacing, write the date on your toothbrush when you swap it out. Or if you follow this list, you’re instantly on schedule to change your brush with the seasons! Easy enough to remember.
Why it Matters
Perhaps the most overlooked component in your overall health is your oral health status. When the subject of health is brought up, our dental health is rarely discussed as a component. But the link between the health of your pearly whites and health conditions is a strong one. Oral health diseases like gingivitis and periodontal disease start as inflammation of the gums but end up leading to other inflammatory conditions like arthritis. Worse is the connection of dental disease to neurological conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
If that doesn’t have you reaching for the floss, poor oral health status is also associated with other health threats like cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Tip: the ADA recommends that you brush your teeth for two minutes. While you’re standing there scrubbing away nothing else going on, read the ingredients on your toothpaste. You may have to get out a magnifying glass, but most toothpaste contains components not suitable for your mouth. From industrial detergent to insecticide, to anti-freeze, it’s in your toothpaste. Smile and say cheese! Give your health an upgrade and swap your toothpaste for a healthier alternative. Or better yet — make your own!
Another tip for you pet lovers: be extra cautious of ingredients and watch out for xylitol – it’s poisonous to canines, and most dogs are indiscriminate and curious eaters. Need we say more?
2. Ditch the Dirty Dozen
We get it. Food is expensive and organic costs extra. When weighing how to spend your food dollars, it might make cents to go for the more affordable option. But you can hand over more at the cash register or pay the price with your health later on. Place a value your health bank like your financial institution. Today’s health penalty is tomorrow’s health problem.
Food is your fuel
When it regards nutrition, go for quality over quantity and get the best you can afford. Cutting out offensive chemicals like pesticides is a big step in easing the burden on your immune system.
If you haven’t heard of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) or the EWG’s Dirty Dozen, allow us to introduce it to you to the worst foods you can buy as far as toxic chemicals in your food go. Chowing down on conventionally grown produce means you’re also ingesting a litany of pesticides and other harmful substances. At least for the following fruits and vegetables, your money is best spent on organic.
Environmental Working Group’s 2019 Dirty Dozen
- Hot Peppers
Tip: save money and grow your own! Either join a community garden or sink your hands into soil of your own and rest easy knowing exactly how your body’s fuel was produced.
3. Get off Your —
Yeah, we almost said it. Chances are, for any number of reasons, you weren’t as physically active this winter as you wanted to be. If this winter’s theme was ‘horizontal hibernation,’ it’s time to swap it for a vertical and physically active position. We’re not saying you shouldn’t relax after work, but how much do you actually move your body during the day? Unless your job involves manual labor, not much. Spring off your backside and prep your body for summer activities.
Stop idling and fuel your health with some exercise this spring. Contrary to common belief, you don’t need a gym to improve your fitness level. You likely exercised all the time growing up — you pushed, pulled, climbed, and stretched as part playtime. Pushups, pull-ups, jumping jacks, and any number of body-weight exercises strengthen, condition, and stretch your body into shape.
Don’t worry — you don’t have to make it your life’s work to maintain your health. Although, we highly recommend an active lifestyle if you’re capable physically.
Set the alarm on one of your smart gizmos reminding you to get off your derriere and move around every hour for a few minutes. Anything that gets your body moving is a step in the right direction (pun intended.)
And stand up straight
Grab some post-its and write reminders to check your posture throughout the day.
Stick one in the car prompting you to maintain a strong spine at stop lights.
Place one on the inside of your medicine cabinet and evaluate in the mirror how you’re holding your body while you brush your teeth.
One goes on your water bottle as an all-day reminder to get in the habit of maintaining good posture.
It won’t take long before you don’t need the post-its anymore.
Your Fluffy Motivator
How’s your four-legged friend’s fitness level? It’s not uncommon for your pet to also suffer the health consequences of a seasonal physical shut-down. They get lethargic, depressed, and gain weight without regular physical activity (like their owners.) Until Fido finds YouTube and learns how to open the front door, it’s up to you to maintain your pet’s health and fitness with regular exercise.
Take advantage of the hour we just got back from daylight savings and swap puppy snooze sessions with a neighborhood walk. All that’s left to do is decide on your route.
4. Canna Swap
We wouldn’t leave you hanging without a cannabis upgrade to add. If you prefer inhalation as your preferred mean to consume cannabis, you’re not alone — it’s the most common and perhaps the easiest way to medicate with the herb. Combusting (lighting, burning, and inhaling) cannabis doesn’t come with the same health consequences as smoking cigarettes, but you’re still sucking tar and other harmful byproducts into your lungs along with your medicine.
In the spirit of spring cleaning and improving your health, swap smoking for vaping. Not only will you be ditching the poisons in smoke, but you’ll save money in the long run. Vaporizers work by heating cannabis to the precise temperature needed to unlock more of the medicinal molecules like THC and CBD into your body. Taking a flame to flower burns (and wastes) your precious medicine. In other words, vaping cannabis is more efficient than smoking it, saving you both money and your health.
If edibles are your jam, we have a healthy swap for you too. Leave the sugar behind this spring and leap into summer with a healthier future. Instead of sugary cannabis-infused confections, hone your culinary skills and create savory medicated concoctions in your kitchen. Enjoy the benefits of controlling ingredients, swapping them out for healthier alternatives, and even experimenting with different infusions.
For the peace your glass piece provides…
A spring health reboot isn’t just for how you medicate, but also for what vessel you use to medicate. Take a sweep of your cannabis accouterments (read: marijuana”paraphernalia”) — we bet the peace pipe delivering your THC could use a little TLC. Gather your pipes, bongs, and other glass bits and pieces for a good old-fashioned spring cleaning session.
No need to concern yourself with fancy cleaners – any drugstore rubbing alcohol will do. Grab some cotton swabs, paper towels, and rubber gloves (trust us on this) and give your glass the attention it deserves. For smaller pieces, use an old jar and soak it overnight to loosen everything for easy cleaning in the morning. With gloved hands, used swabs to get anything that doesn’t rinse off. Follow by some hot soapy water and a thorough rinse, and it’s clear breathing ahead.
While you’re at it, run a pipe-cleaner dampened with alcohol thru your vaporizer a few times too. You may not be able to see how dirty the inside is, but if your vaporizer also fell victim to seasonal neglect, it needs cleaning too. Run a dry pipe-cleaner through afterward to wipe out any residual nastiness.
And don’t forget the ashtrays. You don’t have to eat out of it but instead of just tossing its contents, wipe it out too. It just looks better, doesn’t it?
Tip: before your peace providing piece gets out of control again, add a calendar reminder to clean your peace pipes on the regular. How often, will depend on the frequency you reach for peace. 😎
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- Harding, Alice, et al. “Exploring the Association between Alzheimer’s Disease, Oral Health, Microbial Endocrinology and Nutrition.” Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, Frontiers Media S.A., 1 Dec. 2017. Retrieved from: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29249963
- Daly, B, et al. “Evidence Summary: the Relationship between Oral Health and Dementia.” British Dental Journal, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Jan. 2018. Retrieved from: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29192686
- Kaur, Sushil, et al. “Periodontal Disease as a Risk Factor for Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Systematic Review.” JBI Library of Systematic Reviews, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2012. Retrieved from: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27820156
- “Oral Health: A Window to Your Overall Health.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 1 Nov. 2018. Retrieved from: www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475
- “Dirty Dozen™ Fruits and Vegetables with the Most Pesticides.” EWG’s 2019 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce | Dirty Dozen, Environmental Working Group, 2019. Retrieved from: www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty-dozen.php