It’s that time of year again – spring, which means it’s time to dust yourself off (no pun intended) and start enjoying a healthier you after a long winter of inactivity and excess. Between the holiday indulgence and the failed New Year’s resolutions, there’s a good chance you’re not where you want to be when it comes to your health and wellness.

The good news is that all it takes is some sensible “spring cleaning” to get you back on track. Here are three ways to shed the winter blues (and pounds) and get in the best shape of your life:

1. Clean out the pantry: An overhaul of the foods you eat is a great place to start when it comes to getting healthier. Have you accumulated a host of fatty, sugary, empty-calorie snacks, desserts and other items your body could do without? Replace processed with whole grain; high-sugar with fresh fruits and vegetables; and high-fat with lower fat. The general rule is that if it comes in a box or a bag, there’s a decent chance it doesn’t provide the balanced nutrition your body needs. So clean out your pantry and refrigerator and start fresh – and we do mean fresh – by refilling them, shelf by shelf, with food that does a body good, not bad. Check out ingredient labels so you’re sure what you’re putting in your cupboard (and eventually your body) will put a little spring in your step. You might end up with a pantry that’s only half full and a fridge – especially the fruit and veggie drawers – that are overflowing, but that’s a good thing.

2. Move without selling your house: Don’t put your house on the market this spring; after all, the only place you’re going is down the street, around the block and everywhere in between. We’re talking regular physical activity, and were betting you haven’t done nearly enough of it for the entire winter. With spring here, there’s no better time to get out of the house and start moving, step by step, toward a better you. Remember, if you haven’t done any exercise lately, start slowly so you don’t hurt yourself; but start today! As little as 15 minutes, twice a day, walking around your neighborhood will do wonders for your body, mind and soul. Once your body’s back in the “spring” of things, vary your exercise to avoid burnout. In no time at all, you’ll be waiting for summer and the chance to show off the new you in your favorite swimsuit!

3. Spring cleaning, indoors and out: Our healthy spring-cleaning plan wouldn’t be complete without … well, some actual spring cleaning! Not only will spring cleaning give you a great workout as you move furniture, clean out closets and condense no-longer-used items into boxes and lug them to the garage or attic for storage; you’ll also get rid of a major health hazard: dust. The air you breathe is as important to your health as proper nutrition and exercise, so make sure your respiratory system has the cleanest air possible. Remember to wear a mask when dusting so you don’t inhale the stuff, which, if you’re like most people who claim they “clean regularly,” will be in shocking abundance throughout your home. Oh, and by the way, be sure to clean up outside as well; particularly in the spring, pollen and other allergens lurk everywhere. You can’t completely eliminate your exposure, but if you sweep up your patio regularly, trim the trees / bushes, and mow the lawn, you’ll at least reduce your risk of suffering the side effects.

So, are you ready for a little spring cleaning? Trust us, the payoff will be well-worth the effort in terms of a healthier you. Talk to your doctor of chiropractic about these and other great ways to improve your health and wellness this spring – and all year round.