Spring Cleaning: Five Healthy Reasons! Zen, Detox, Get Fit!

spring cleaning flowerSpring is just around the corner, March 20th to be precise, and with the transition to warmer weather comes the American tradition of spring cleaning. Since pioneer days, families have opened their windows, scrubbed away the grime and swept up the dusty ashes of winter. Spring cleaning means clearing out the clutter to make room for the fresh, dewy and sun kissed air.

Besides keeping out the dust bunnies, there are other benefits to cleaning house. Here are five healthy reasons for doing a little spring cleaning. Including reasons that may help you de-stress, get fit and eat well.

Click ahead for the list....

Five Healthy Benefits to Spring Cleaning
(Besides clearing away the grime!)

1. Clean your House, Get Fit!
This one is simple. Cleaning house burns a lot of calories. In fact, you can burn anywhere from 100 to 500 calories an hour cleaning house - depending on your activity level, weight, age and sex. Compare that to an hour of slow walking which is around 200 calories burned. Why not do something, like housework, that is good for your body and your house. When your done de-cluttering and deep-cleaning, find a shiny clean spot for your yoga mat or workout space. It's much more desirable to get sweaty in a dust-free zone.

2. Messy House, Messy Life
There have been numerous 'clutter experts' on shows like Oprah and Martha Stewart who claim that a messy house will lead to a messy life. The theory is that when your house is filled with clutter and unorganized in general, you will be less likely to remember all your 'healthy life' values throughout the day. Setting a bowl of fruit in the kitchen, arranging a cheerful flower vase in your entryway and even keeping a clean and clutter-free bedroom will keep you focused on health and happiness rather than on the healthy-life-zapping distracting clutter.

spring cleaning relax3. Zen House, Zen Mood
Obviously, a clean house will make you feel more relaxed and at ease. If you keep a clean and clutter-free house a priority, you will be able to enjoy your down time at home in a zen environment. Staring at dirty laundry sprawled about the house is no way to stay peaceful. And a clean house can easily be accented with zen-inducing aromatherapy oils like lavender and chamomile. Another way to zen-out your clean house.

4. Clean Fridge, Healthy Plate
One way to kill a salad craving? Get a whiff of some too-old-to-be-in-there broccoli from your ignored veggie drawer. Or check out that very back row of your fridge. Studies have shown that having an organized, sanitized, sparkling clean fridge can actually help you to make healthy eating choices. A clean fridge is a better 'display box' for your healthy fresh foods, and thus makes them more appealing to grab from the fridge or cabinet. So as you spring clean- make your fridge a priority. Just because you can close the door and 'forget about it' doesn't mean you should. You just may be surprised at the healthy eating habits a clean fridge can spark!

spring allergies5. Deep Clean your House, Deep Clean your Body
Deep within the fibers of your rugs, the crevices of your wood and the layers of your pillows lurk many creepy scary allergens. Dust mites, mold spores, animal dander and mildew can all induce some major pain of your home and your body. I'm talking household allergens. Not only can they cause sneezing, headaches and a general feeling of illness - but they can weaken your immune system and prevent your body from being able to deeply heal itself, renew and detox in the spring season. From Clean Up Your Health: "Spring is a good time for deep cleansing of the body as relief from allergies and general maintenance for well being. Spring is a time of year when many allergies flare up. Winds carrying tree and grass pollens can trigger hay fever, sinus headaches and infections, asthma and other seasonal inflammations."

So this spring, make sure that you make spring cleaning a priority. Break out those rubber gloves, grab the cleaning kit and don't forget to put a lot of elbow grease into the work. Scrub, polish, sort and stack. Just free up the grime, clutter and dust in your house and perhaps your body will be spring cleaned as well.

-I'm serious about that fridge. The back row, the crevices of the veggie drawer, and even the freezer. Yup. The freezer.

Good luck. And the first day of spring is March 20, 2009. FYI.

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