Ready, set go! Spring is in the air – are you gearing up?

It is that time of year when the Southern Hemisphere is gearing up for warmer days and more sunshine.  Spring has begun and everyone and everything in nature, has a “spring” in their step (or chirp)!  Many of us have started to spring-clean our homes, closets, cars and offices…are we spring-cleaning our health- and exercise routine?

Here are a few tips to get us “in the mood again;” off the couch and back into routine!

As the days get warmer and the sleeves get shorter, more skin is being exposed.  Time to exfoliate!  There are a number of products in the shops or you can make your own scrub (for example: 1/2 cup ground coffee beans, 1/2 cup fine ground Himalayan Salt, 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted), 2 drops peppermint essential oil.  This scrub will boost circulation and detoxify your body).  Rub in small, circular moves taking care of the sensitive skin and working a bit longer on areas like your elbows, knees and ankles.  It is always best to start on your right side, moving up towards your head and then down the left side.  Why?  Because your lymphatic system flows in that direction towards and passed the heart!  (more on this in a later article).

Keep your skin moisturized.  During winter we just wanted to get out of the hot shower or bath and into our warm beds.  Now when you are finished with your shower or bath, put a good moisturizer on your whole body. Ladies, just be careful if you have shaved your legs.  Often you can get a rash if you put body lotion on straight-away.

Want to put on a pair of shorts or a new dress, but are worried about your very white legs after the winter?  Why not opt for tinting or a fake tan?  Some body lotions have a tinted moisturizer in, otherwise stop at your local spa or DisChem and get a fake spray-tan!  Sunbeds are also popular, but be careful not to overdo it.  It has been proven by many that it can cause skin cancer.

Tired of your look but don’t want to break the bank to buy a new wardrobe – yet?  Go for a haircut – whether you change your style, colour or just opt for trimming the dead-ends, your hair needs a bit of tlc after the cold.  If your hair is dry buy a shampoo and conditioner with added ingredients that feed the hair and scalp (ask your hairdresser to recommend a good brand).  A hair mask is another good product to use.  It nourishes your hair the same way as a facial mask.  Another good change is to air dry your hair instead of using the hairdryer all the time.  Sitting in the sun is also a great way to add a natural tint to your hair.

Getting back into an exercise-routine can be daunting for some.  So, what to do?  Start by using the stairs at work and at the mall instead of the escalator.  Go for an early morning or afternoon walk or jog.  Join a Pilates, Yoga, Splash- or other group exercise-class at gym.  Many people are more motivated when exercising in a group instead of on their own (unless you book a personal training session!).  Not keen on going to or joining a gym?  Then look out for a private studio in your area; they teach anything from Pilates, Yoga, Dancing and other conditioning classes.  There are also numerous walking and/or running-clubs that one can join over the weekend to “get going again.”  Regardless what you do, start with 30 minutes a day and once you’ve gotten into your routine again, you can aim for an hour 3 – 5 times per week.

Start to look at your diet – as the days get warmer it is a good time to add more salads, fruits and raw food to the menu.  If you find that you did pick up a little bit of weight during the winter months, don’t beat yourself up!  Instead start to cut back on the rich food, the ready-made meals, the refined sugars and starches, and replace these with the above-mentioned produce.  Remember to drink plenty of water to help the body to flush out toxins and stay hydrated.

Lastly, remember to spring-clean your mind as well.  Stay positive and stay focused on your goal.  Whether it is to lose weight, get back into exercising, eating more healthily or just being happier in general, know that, as the season of change is here, anything you set your mind to can be done – one step at a time! 

Spring, in many ways, are ringing in a “new” beginning.  New flowers and leaves are starting to bloom, the birds are starting to court each other, some are starting to build new nests…all in all, it is time to throw of the heavy clothes and blankets, open the windows and breathe the fresh air in!  Enjoy the season everyone!

To my readers in the North, have no worries. As you are gearing up for autumn, you can still continue and maintain a positive outlook, keep working at your goals and enjoy the beautiful autumn colours in nature!

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