5 Ways to Make Spring Break a Spring Board for Health

By Rebecca Scritchfield MA, RD, LD - DietsInReview.com

One of our favorite sayings is "Nothing changes until you do." If you've ever complained about not eating right, being overworked, not having time to workout, or not taking care of yourself the way you should then you have probably spent some time hoping things could change. Instead of hoping, start doing. With spring break starting for many this week, try these five ideas to help get you started and make more productive use of your week off.

1. Make a plan. Without a plan, you're left with good intentions that aren't executable. With any extra time this spring break do some personal reflection and goal setting. Think about one behavior at a time. For instance, what you'd like to change about nutrition. Write it down. Continue this until you have a list of changes that have been on your mind. Then, prioritize by what are the most important behaviors to change and easiest to change? Start there. Be consistent. Don't think about how far you have to go, think about what you will do today to work on that change.

2. Clean out the pantry. Spring just screams "clean up" for some reason. Put some of that energy into getting your pantry in order. Pull everything out and assess. Do you have a lot of packaged, heavily processed foods or snacks, and which nourishing foods can you replace them with? Chances are, the less healthy stuff will find its way out. Learn how you can stock a healthy pantry.

3. Visit a running or sporting goods store. The problem with exercising is that we assume we have to suffer through it. No one should do any exercise that feels uncomfortable. Maybe you would have fun water jogging in a pool, hiking, or just simply walking after work. There's plenty out there, find something that suits your interests. Use your spring break to take stock of your fitness equipment. Everyone can use a pair of well-fitting shoes. Your local running store can give you a perfect fit based on your activities and foot structure. Don't assume you have to squeeze yourself into spandex, either. Find at least one comfortable outfit that makes you look and feel good. You'll be hitting the pavement, trails, or gym in no time.

4. Make a "don't do" list. If you think there's never enough time in the day to prepare meals and exercise. then there's too much on your plate. Period. It's not a race to see how much you can squeeze into your schedule. There will always be work to do. Spend some time over spring break to make your first-ever "don't do" list. Simply think about what you are currently doing that eats up time in your day. Is there too much screen time - TV and computer? Volunteering too much? Pulling more than your fair share in the family or at the office? It's time to delegate, cut out the excess and get some help.

5. Love you. Most people would probably read this and say "well of course I love myself." But if you really think about it, we are our own worst critics, especially when we know we need to change. We judge ourselves by so many things each day - what we weigh, what we eat, if we are too lazy to exercise, we're not _____ enough. The reality is, the better you feel about yourself, the more positive you are and the more successful you will be. This spring break, write down three things that you love about yourself, ask others what they love most about you, and then write down three negative things you will no longer tell yourself.

When you want to change habits, it can be daunting just thinking about where to start. That's what's so powerful about "Nothing changes until you do." It reveals that change starts from within. It also says that you already have what you need to change. You don't need to wait for someone to solve your problems. You can change your own life. Start now.

Learn more by reading:

4 Steps to Creating New Habits

College Spring Break Fitness and Diet Tips

Beach Body Exercise Routine for Spring Break

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