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Spring is finally here and the lighter nights and warmer days are the perfect tonic to help you come out of hibernation, shake off the winter blues and give your lifestyle a healthy spring clean.

When it comes to activity many of us don’t do enough and should do more. Whether it’s pounding the pavements or cleaning at home, every active minute counts towards a healthier heart. So don’t just sit there, follow Heart Research UK’s Healthy Tips and spring into action- dust off those trainers, get on your bike, spruce up your home and garden and go walking in the fresh spring sunshine.

Use the extra light at night

Why not make the most of the extra daylight by fitting in a bit of daily activity.

–    Think about swapping the car or bus for your bike or go on foot for a fitter commute this spring.

–   Take a breath of fresh air and release those daily stresses with an evening jog or brisk dog walk. Just 30 minutes of moderate activity each day is all it takes to help you keep your heart strong and healthy.

–    Enjoy some active family fun while the sun shines; take a trip to the park or have a kick-about on the beach. Activity makes you feel good and sleep better, and when you’re feeling positive, you’re more likely to choose healthier foods too.

Time for a spring clean

Spring is in the air so it’s time to spruce up your home for a fresh start to create a happy space to relax and entertain.

–    Put on some music and dance as you dust, boogie as you brush and hoover with gusto to get your heart pumping and turn those tedious tasks around.

–    Don’t let things pile up at the bottom of the stairs – take individual items upstairs straight away to increase your daily stair-climbing, a fantastic aerobic activity.

–     Plan household chores to keep you running up and down the stairs. Empty the dishwasher in the kitchen, make the bed upstairs, vacuum the living room then clean the bathroom upstairs, you’ll be surprised how many steps you clock up.

Spruce up the garden

Now is the time to get outside and plant up for summer. Even small bouts of activity here and there, like cutting the grass or weeding the flower beds, all add up and contribute towards keeping your heart healthy.

–    Create a serene outdoor space to relax and de-stress after hard days. Stress causes our bodies to release a hormone called cortisol, which can build up long-term to increase your risk of heart disease and weight gain  

–    Bring out the pressure washer to remove winter grime from patios and terraces and get ready to give your lawn its first mow of the season.

–    Dig for your heart and grow your own vegetables in your allotment or back yard. Spring is the time to smarten up your plot and wage a war on weeds, ready for planting. Plan what you wish to grow so you can reap the rewards of your home grown harvest to get your 5-a-day all year round.

Turn over a new leaf this spring and make the most of longer days by getting active in the great outdoors as part of a new heart healthy you.

More from Heart Research UK here