Your Health Checklist 2012

There’s a perfect time for everything in life – including improving your health.
Winter (December – March)

  • Brew a pot of liquorice tea It might raise your energy, January is the windiest month and according to expert, wind triggers warning signals in the brain that make us feel uneasy, anxious and irritable. Our adrenal glands then pump out stress hormones, but this can only go on so long before the adrenals become depleted, leading to exhaustion.
  • Book yourself in for a mole check While you should be aware of your moles all year, experts say this is the best time for a full body check, as your skin is at its lightest, meaning it’ easier to spot any new moles or subtle changes.
  • Don’t’ worry about your libido Sex hormones fluctuate at this time of year – one minute you could really fancy your partner, the next you won’t be fusses. This happens with lots of systems in our body during winter, they rally into life, but then can’t sustain the energy long-term.
  • But if you are feeling raunchy, act on it! If baby-making is on your mind, now may be the time to conceive. Studies suggest that babies born between October to December live 115 days longer than average.
  • Get personal with weight loss New year, new body and all that, but this year forget the idea that one diet slims all. Experts explain how where we carry excess fat is determined by individual imbalances in certain hormones. For example, love handles are linked to insulin while bra bulge can indicate a sluggish thyroid. Determine your hormone trouble and rebalance it with targeted diet, supplements and exercise; then see your body reshape.

Spring (March – June)

  • Do an E-tox According to Chinese medicine, spring is the best time to detox as our body is ready to start anew, and nutritionists pinpoint the Spring Equinox for an “E-tox”. Avoid meat, dairy, what, caffeine and alcohol for a week, and try a cleansing herbal blend.
  • Try barefoot running Longer days make this easier to do (never run barefoot in the dark!). New guide “Barefoot Running” says that not only is it better for your body, it could change everything about your running style. Running used to be about the numbers – distance, speed, etc – but barefoot running removes the pressure of competition. Your feet dictate how far you go, not your mind, so you run for the sake of running, which is liberating.
  • Tilt your pelvis Back specialists get a surge of new cases around April – the warmer weather means we start gardening or DIY. But if you practice strengthening moves early, you reduce your risk of injury. Experts suggest a simple pelvic tilt: Lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Breathe in and, as you breathe out, tilt your pelvis upwards, gently flattening your lower back to the floor and raising your buttocks slightly. Hold for five seconds, then return to the starting position. Repeat three to four times daily.
  • Have your holiday jabs It might seem ages until your beach break, but some jabs need six to eight weeks to work. If you’re going somewhere early in the season, speaking to your GP in May or June.
  • Start your hayfever treatments The season begins in April, but allergists suggest taking preventative treatment two to four weeks before you normally suffer. This stops your immune system overreacting to its first pollen exposure. Try antihistamines or homeopathic remedies.

Summer (June – September)

  • Eat bitter foods Herbalists say you can improve your heat tolerance by eating bitter foods like asparagus, curly endive and chicory. They help your liver and digestion to work more efficiently, keeping you clean and cool.
  • Beware emotional hotspots You might notice a bit of an emotional dip around the dates 7/7 or 9/11, as your subconscious picks up the collective sadness related the terror attacks. Changing your circumstances, even slightly, can manage their effects. That could mean something as simple as avoiding the effected tube lines on or around that day.
  • Give blood Donating is not only good for others, it’s good for you. Studies have tentatively linked blood donation to a lowered risk of heart disease (it lowers levels of iron in your body, making cholesterol less damaging). But a definite benefit is the feel good factor. Knowing you may save the lives of up to three people is incredibly rewarding.
  • Book early surgery If you’re having an elective procedure, you might want to book it for June or July. Why? New medical students start in hospitals the first week in August, and according to a study, hospital mortality rises by six percent that week!
  • Check your cholesterol It’s estimated that up to one in three people over 40 are taking statins for high cholesterol, but if your measurement is borderline, have a summer check. Blood is thinner now, meaning cholesterol concentration is lower and you might come out okay. Although you’ll still have to work on your diet to stop it rising further.

Autumn (September – December)

  • Avoid seasonal affective disorder You can find your mood starts to plummet as the clocks change, but hypnotherapist says, this is the perfect time to contemplate how to best enjoy and be thankful for the abundance you’ve created so far this year. Also, think about the seeds you’d like to sow now so that next year is full of love, happiness, friendships and everything that’s special to you.
  • Buy a new toothbrush Most of us buy one in time for our summer holidays, meaning it’s now out of date (a brush lasts three months). And, more importantly, toothbrush bristles can collect cold and flu germs that lead to re-infection. If you can’t shake a cold, try changing your toothbrush.
  • Take a D supplement We make vitamin D from sunlight, so by the end of autumn our stocks can get low. Try a D3 supplement.
  • Download a Christmas survival app Yes, they really exist – and they aim to help you beat the stress of issues like overbearing in-laws and overdone turkey. Using it for the first time on the big day won’t work, though. It’s thought it takes 21 days to create or dissolve habitual behavior. Experts advise you start listening daily from mid-November.
  • Paint your nails red  It’ll help you notice how often you touch your face – on average about 15 times an hour. Touching your eyes or nose is the number-one way germs get into your system. Try to break the face-touching habit, and wash your hands regularly.

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