Find that Spring in Your Step

Have you lost the spring in your step?

After a somewhat harsh winter, the trees, the flowers, and the outside world are slowly waking from their winter rest. Here in the Pacific Northwest, many of us feel as though we’re waking from hibernation. If you are one of the many who experience seasonal depression through the winter season, or your activity levels decreased over recent months, here are some tips for finding the spring in your step again.

Start slow

Spread out yard/garden chores. Rather than cleaning up the yard or garage all in one day or weekend, consider spreading the project over several days or weeks. Moving from months of inactivity to an intense yard or gardening day can wreak havoc on backs, shoulders, and knees. Take time to enjoy being outside and disperse the work!

Increase activity gradually. Did you take a hiatus from walking, running, or biking in the winter months? If so, consider slowly adding volume. For example, start with just 15-20 minutes a day for the first week or two before increasing.

Check your step

A sudden increase in time spent walking, running, or gardening outside can lead to sore feet and a loss of that spring in your step.

Footwear check-in. In general, shoes and/or insoles need to be replaced after 3-6 months of use. If you’re pulling out last year’s sneakers, it may be time to consider replacements. Shoes used for walking or running should also allow room for toes to spread wide. Typically, they should be a 1/2 size larger than your everyday shoe size. Most running stores will help analyze your gait and help you find shoes that fit your needs and lifestyle.

Sore feet? Consider toe spreaders. These function to help create more flexibility in the feet and toes and can be found online for less than 10$. Go slow on these! Start with wearing them just 5 minutes a day, perhaps while reading or watching tv.

Another great tool for foot health is a tennis or lacrosse ball, which can be used to roll out tension held in the foot.

Acupuncture, massage, chiropractic adjustment, and corrective exercise are great ways to lend additional support and care to achy, painful feet.

Sunny days ahead

Like a bear exiting a cave and squinting at the brightness of the sun after a long winter nap, sunny days can feel amazing. But they can also be overwhelming to the mind and body at first.

Quality mental health support and care for the physical body can help diffuse the aftereffects of seasonal depression and give tools for long-term wellness.

Good skincare routines, hydration, and sun protection are also particularly important in the early days of Spring. So, dig out your hat and sunscreen, grab your fancy (or not) water bottle, and head outside!

If you live in the Eugene, OR area and find yourself in need of help getting the spring back into your step, get in touch with us at Well Balanced Center for Integrated Care! Our team of clinicians enjoys collaborating. We’ll help you find the most effective strategy to get you back on your feet, outside and enjoying the sunshine!

Check out this article about foot health: Healthy feet, happy life – Harvard Health

A few gardening thoughts from Well Balanced