During the spring and summer months, many people work to improve both their physical and mental shape. Winter takes a toll on many people with the dreary weather and feelings of being cooped up for months. Warmer weather makes for the perfect time to work on reducing your stress levels, cleaning up your nutrition and dietary choices, and focusing on your mental health. Here’s how to get started:
Embrace your local farmers market
There are many ways to tackle issues related to mental and physical health heading into the summer, but those who have a great farmers market in their community will want to take full advantage of all it has to offer. The farmers market is jam-packed with foods that provide quality nutrition, and the setting offers a great way to get some fresh air and exercise.
Cuesa points out that the farmers market is a great outlet for finding fresh, in-season fruits and vegetables as well as quality eggs, cheeses, and meats. One of the easiest ways to improve your physical shape and amp up the nutritional quality of your diet is to incorporate lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, and a local farmers market makes it easy to do this. You will get plenty of variety at the farmers market, as Boston Magazine notes that typically the selection changes week to week throughout the season, and this is an economical way to try out new foods that you might overlook at a standard grocery store.
You may want to chat up the local vendors as you browse, as this provides some great insight into what products are coming in the weeks ahead. A Woman’s Health suggests connecting with the local farmers so you can gain insight into their farming methods, ensuring that you are getting the healthiest options available, and you can get recipe and preparation ideas for the foods you’re buying as well. You might also check with them to see which fruits and vegetables are good for what ails you.
The market provides the opportunity for fresh air, exercise, and social connections
Another great benefit of utilizing your local farmers market is the fresh air and exercise that comes with browsing the market. Summer is a great time to embrace outdoor activities to improve your physical health and the farmers market provides the perfect setting. Walk around the market a couple of times to make sure you haven’t missed anything, and get an extra boost of strength training by carrying around your haul.
The fresh air and vitamin D you get as you browse will have a great impact on your mental health too. Huffington Post details that getting outdoors can help boost your concentration skills, creativity, and energy levels, and the vitamin D exposure benefits both your mental and physical state. In addition to helping to combat anxiety and depression, it can also reduce inflammation, improve immune function, and promote bone and cell growth. You will also have the opportunity to connect with others socially at the farmers market, another bonus in terms of improving your mental health. Being outdoors will not only lift your spirits, but the added exercise can help combat anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and even addiction.
Taking advantage of your local farmers market is definitely a great way to stay healthy and feel great this summer. This one-stop shop gives you the chance to focus on fresh, quality produce and proteins to improve your nutrition and it provides some great exercise and fresh air that can help to reduce your stress levels and improve your mental health. While there are plenty of ways to improve your health during the warmer months, this is one chance to accomplish many health-related goals at one time.