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A Prescription for Renewal, Growth and Vitality

Spring into Health -- A couple happily gardening flowers

By Curtis Thill, M.D.

Even after practicing medicine for more than 30 years, I am always amazed by the rejuvenating power of Spring. Here in southern Indiana right now, Spring is awakening nature in a burst of life and color. Regardless of our age, spring vividly reminds us of life restored and new beginnings – and spring in southern Indiana is an especially beautiful time.

As a long-time physician, I offer a free prescription that holds many potential benefits: whenever possible, go outside on upcoming mild days of our 2024 spring and lift your spirits, perhaps filling your mind with the following three thoughts.

Spring brings a living message of resilience. From time-to-time, we all face challenges. Sometimes the winter months can seem to magnify any difficulties that we may face. But each spring season tells us this: despite winter blahs or even harshness, life finds a way to bounce back, even pushing up through the last days of seasonal snow.

A real benefit of spring comes with mild sunny days, where we can shed our winter coats and get a little bit of warming sunshine. It’s a medical fact that sunlight triggers the natural production of Vitamin D. The natural creation and application of Vitamin D by just being outside provides real benefit for bone health, our immune systems, and even our personal outlook and quality of mental health. 

Breathing in fresh air with a bit of sun can strengthen our resolve and resilience to press on. And if spring is here, great summer days can’t be far off!

Spring brings new opportunities for growth. I enjoy hearing from my patients about the marvel of fresh natural flowers and budding trees and bushes, and their delight in seeing new growth everywhere. As we in our Crawford County SICHC clinics  appreciate, it’s an inspiring season to see here in southern Indiana. 

As the weather improves, so do our opportunities to strengthen our physical bodies and our mental outlook. A short daily walk can bring a host of benefits in the improvement of blood circulation, a boost of personal energy, enhancement of mood, and as a helpful remedy for stress, anxiety and even mild depression. 

Spring also brings growth opportunities in the form of gardening, whether flower, vegetable, or both. Our region has a number of community garden patches available, many with experienced gardeners who can offer tips. The taste of fresh vegetables that you have grown yourself is a most satisfying experience – and doubles down as a healthy one! And don’t forget some fresh-cut wildflowers to brighten the inside of your home.

Spring promotes vitality. A little bit of sustained exercise and elevated outlooks can bring a new dimension of vitality to your life. As days get longer, we wake up to sunshine and get off work while the sun is still shining. We may feel the desire to do a little spring cleaning, which does more than just declutter our living and working spaces. Getting things in order and freshened up can declutter our minds and elevate our mood.

And while we’re talking about spring cleaning, our bodies can benefit from drinking more water, eating fresh leafy greens and consuming antioxidant-rich foods like broccoli, spinach, carrots, cabbage, squash and more. Fresh strawberries and blueberries make their presence in these spring months, which offers additional good-tasting and healthy options.

Remember, physicians and medical providers always encourage people to take their medicine as prescribed, so don’t wait – your suggested prescription is to enjoy this spring season and its potential benefits of renewal, growth, and vitality!

A board-certified family physician, Dr. Curtis Thill has practiced medicine in the Crawford County region for more than 30 years.


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