By Analeigh Hughes
For Unwind magazine
When most people think of spring cleaning, going through their clothes and cleaning their rooms come to mind. However, we can also give our bodies a good spring cleaning.
With the weather getting warmer and the last few weeks of the semester approaching, now is as perfect time as ever to make our bodies and minds feel fresh, clean, and ready to take on finals and summer vacation!
Studies have shown that most people in the Northeastern region of the United States suffer from a Vitamin D deficiency. This is mainly attributed to the dreary, gray winters prevalent in this area.
Being deficient in Vitamin D can affect your mood, energy levels and strength. We can get Vitamin D from various foods, as well as supplements, but the best way to get it is from sunlight. Now that the sun is back out and the temperature is rising, it is the perfect time to soak up some Vitamin D.
Our campus is full of open spaces and has plenty of tables and benches outside which are perfect for doing homework and hanging out with friends. You can also swap out the indoor track or exercise machines at the gym for a run outside.
“I like running outside when it’s warm because I love warm weather and it puts me in a good mood,” said Mar LaBarbera, freshman criminology major.
With the end of the semester is rapidly approaching, stress due to finals, packing, planning for next year, and even finalizing summer internship or job opportunities can flare up.
Even though it’s a busy time of the year, it’s important to take some time to relieve ourselves of some of this stress.
Yoga is a great way to approach this problem. In addition to helping you relax and clear your mind, it is also a great workout. Eppley offers yoga classes several times a week at various locations around campus.
If you’re looking for a way to relax more conveniently, guided meditation apps are also a great option.
A few examples of apps you can download from the iTunes App Store are Headspace, Stop, Breathe and Think, CBT-I Coach, and Zenify. Many of these apps offer several different types of meditation and relaxations, and you can even tailor it to your needs.
Even with all of the apps technology can offer, t’s hard to feel fresh, energized and healthy when you’re weighed down by heavy, processed foods.
While the pizza you had for lunch may have satisfied your cravings, you probably will not feel the same way about it a few hours later when you’re feeling weighed down, sluggish, and are struggling to pay attention during your classes and homework.
Many natural, plant-based foods can provide us with vitamins and nutrients that we need to fuel our bodies naturally, and don’t leave you feeling disgusting afterwards. The vegan stations, salad bars and fresh fruit in the dining halls are great ways to achieve this.
There are also plenty of options outside of the dining halls. The university hosts a farmer’s market every Wednesday from April to November in front of Cole Field House.
There is fresh produce and foods from local businesses. Not only is this a great way to support the local economy, but it’s a great way to get healthy, fresh foods.
Additionally, Prince George’s county recently opened its first Whole Foods in nearby Riverdale Park. Other than having organic, fresh and healthy produce and pre-packaged foods, there is a custom acai bowl bar, cold-pressed juices and wood-fired pizza.
Hydrating your body is also important. Make sure to drink plenty of water.
If you want flavor, add fruit slices or even opt for unsweetened tea. Green tea is not only a great natural source of caffeine, but also can cleanse your body of toxins.
“Mostly I use the stir-fry station for fresher vegetables and the vegan station for wraps and paninis. It’s really easy to find plant based foods in the dining halls,” said Meg Regiec, freshman criminology major.
Spring is the season of new beginnings. While we place an emphasis on making our environments fresh and clean, we should not neglect our bodies. Especially with finals and summer plans rapidly approaching, we should make sure that we are ready to face what’s next while feeling fresh, healthy, and rejuvenated!