Spring Means GreenSpring…the season or preparing… planting… sprouting. Whether its seeds in your garden or ideas for a new project on the job or on your home, Spring brings the energy and desire to create something new. Time, energy and money are spent to “make-ready” your home, yard, automobiles and wardrobe, but how much attention is given to your body for the transition into the next season?

It’s time to put away snow shovels (we certainly hope it is!), winter coats, gloves and boots and don lighter, brighter, more comfortable Spring attire then grab the garden tools…or golf clubs.

Seasons change, we change. Physiological needs of the human body are profoundly affected by rhythms and cycles of seasonal changes. Perhaps you are coming out of Winter with a few extra pounds anticipating more outdoor activity in Spring. Nutrition needs will change from heavy, warming comfort foods of a colder season, to lighter, crisper, foods of Spring, which help the body cleanse and shed unwanted Winter leftovers. The body’s need for water also changes as outdoor temperatures rise and you exert more energy. Metabolism increases with warmer weather however, extreme heat causes a slowing of the metabolism.

Historically, foods that were naturally available in Spring (greens, sprouts, fruits) were created to offer exactly what the body needed in this season. Fruits, high in water, hydrate the body, flush out Winter excess, cool the body and provide sugars as an energy source. Greens and sprouts, high in vitamins and minerals, aid digestive function, which help the weight loss process. For you avid golfers, some of you may need to expand your definition of “greens!”

As the body becomes more active, more energized and more toned, your endurance is increased, the risk of injury is reduced and mental acuity is sharpened …not a bad combination for a winning round of golf!

Some suggestions for a super Spring certainly include drinking more water, especially when you are outside, in the heat and exerting energy. Current research promotes the benefits moderate alcohol consumption may offer, but beware of the health risks. As a diuretic, alcohol directly affects dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. Mild to moderate symptoms may include thirst, light-headedness, dizziness or weakness. Alcohol can cause inflammation of the stomach lining, deplete the body of B-complex vitamins, alter glucose levels and contribute to a fatty liver. Alcohol messes with your body’s natural rhythms such as body temperature, normal cotisol levels, and cognitive ability. Women should be aware that hormonal changes and alcohol produce an unpredictable response both physically and psychologically.

It is Spring and time for a new beginning …a new way to prepare your body (and mind) to perform at peak levels. Choose an energizing breakfast or lunch before you tee off instead of that drive-thru, high-fat, gulped-in-the-parking-lot meal. Drink plenty of water during the day and save alcoholic beverages for the 19th hole victory.

Golf is a game …you life is about good health. Don’t put it in the bunker!