Your Disease Risk

Spring Ahead: 5 Reasons Spring is a Great Time to Work on Your Health Goals

On top of all the other wonderful things about spring, it can also be a great time to work on improving your health.

Don’t groan.

While working on your health goals may not be as fun as watching spring training or walking through a blossom-filled park, your health is important. Very important.  And not only to you but also to those close to you. So why not take a little time to improve your health at a time of year that can give a you a leg-up toward success?

You can re-up on a New Year’s resolution – which for some people can get a bit wobbly around this time of year – or you can leave winter in the rearview mirror and pick something brand new to work on.

And Washington University in St. Louis’s re-designed website, Your Disease Risk, can help. First launched in January 2000, it provides disease risk estimates and personalized prevention tips for 12 different cancers, plus heart disease, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, and COPD.

Newly updated to work on all screen sizes – from desktop to phone – it is an evidence-based resource that translates the latest science on health and disease prevention into simple messages people can use. And its new behavior rankings function can now show you at a glance which healthy changes may lower your risk of disease the most.

“We designed Your Disease Risk to be an engaging tool to help people learn about their risk and improve their health,” says Graham Colditz, MD, DrPH, Professor of Medicine and inventor of the site. “And the new behavior rankings provide added information that can help with setting health goals.”

Washington University’s newly updated Your Disease Risk 
So, as you consider the goals you want to work on the rest of the year – and how you’re going to meet them – consider why spring can be a great time to do just that.

It’s warming up
There’s something special about the chill of winter giving way to the warmer days of spring. And the warmer weather just invites you to get outside. And that’s a great thing because it opens up opportunities to be active and engage in other healthy activities – whether it’s going for a bike ride or walking to the local famers’ market to buy healthy food.

It’s inspiring
It’s hard to beat the sights and smells of spring for inspiration. Just seeing the plants and trees bursting with new leaves and color can give you some extra energy to tackle your goals.

It’s in season
A healthy diet is key to an overall healthy lifestyle, and eating better is toward the top of many people’s to-do list. And in spring, healthy eating gets a bit easier – and a bit cheaper. More produce comes into season and farmer’s markets start up again.

It’s a long time ‘til next winter
Many people find winter a tough time to keep up their health routines. The days are cold, the nights are long, and the food-filled holidays seem tailor made to throw you off kilter. By working on new habits this spring, you’ll be able to lock them down before next winter, giving you a better chance of keeping on track through the winter holidays and beyond.

It’s now
One of the best reasons to start making healthy changes this spring is simply because it’s now. Working on new behaviors isn’t always easy, but there’s power in just getting started. The sooner you start, the quicker the new behaviors will become a routine part of your days. 

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You can find motivation year-round to improve your health. But there is something special about spring that can be particularly helpful in setting your health goals and beginning to working toward them. But whatever you choose to work on, start small, build up slowly, and be sure to enjoy the warmer weather along the way.

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