Easy-to-follow tips and tricks to stay healthy and young

In today’s modern world, things have become very rushed.  With the dawn of takeaways / fast foods and ready-to-eat meals, many people stopped preparing homemade meals.  Although it is convenient when you need a meal “on the go,” nothing beats homemade meals; especially when you compare the nutrient content.  It is not just what you eat that is important, but there are a number of easy-to-follow tips and tricks, that you can do, to stay healthy and young.

  • Staying active:  for some reason it is easier to stay active when it is not a cold, winter’s day.  However, don’t let the weather prevent you from being active; even if you have to stay indoors.  All you need is a mat, some hand weights (or you can use tins from your pantry), a ball (if you have space) and/or a Thera Band.  Luckily today there are many apps that you can download and follow.  Or simply go onto YouTube and follow someone there.  For those of you who enjoy Pilates and/or Yoga, hop over to my YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRmlb8ZrUkFXhZgeqSOr1QQ, for easy-to-do exercise routines.
  • As mentioned earlier, eating healthy is key:  Comfort food and wintertime, go together like bread and butter, but that doesn’t mean that you have to skimp on eating healthy just because it is cold.  Do make sure to eat lots of vegetables and fruits.  If a salad is not a choice during the colder months, then opt for a homemade soup.  Instead of eating a ready-made meal or takeaway every night, opt for once a month.  There is nothing more satisfying than preparing your own meal; at least you will know what goes into it too!
  • Beauty sleep:  I don’t know about you, but during winter I want to hibernate.  Nothing wrong with that, but don’t stop being active and careful not to sleep too much.  Nobody has an exact answer about the hours you need to sleep – it depends on each individual.  However, be careful not to “oversleep.”  If the room and/or bed is too hot, then you sleep longer and can feel sluggish the next day.  It is said that our internal body heat is between 20 and 22 °C (60 and 71 F), thus make sure that you don’t dress too warm or put the heating up too high.
  • Protect your skin:  whether it is summer- or wintertime, always make sure to put moisturizer on your face, hands, and any other body part that might stick out.  Both sunny weather and cold winter days can dry out your skin.  Make sure to use body lotions and/or creams that have hydrating properties in.  exfoliating your skin 2x a week is a great way of getting rid of the dry, dead skin.  Take care not to exfoliate more than 2x a week, otherwise your skin’s natural oils can become depleted.  If you notice that the cream / lotion you use, is not doing its trick during winter, opt for something that is creamier / thicker.
  • Stay hydrated:  drinking enough water is vital; no matter what time of the year it is.  Water keeps you hydrated on the inside and, because our bodies are made up of between 70 – 80% water, it is important to make sure to “drink up!”  No matter how much creams and lotions you put on, if your body lacks water internally, then it will show on the outside of your body.  Air-conditioning and heating also dries out the skin much faster.  Try not to have it on all day but, if that is not possible, place a bowl with water either on your desk or close to the radiator / aircon.  This will help to keep the air moist.  If water is not your favourite drink; opt for black tea (no milk, no sugar) or flavour your water with a piece of fruit. 
  • TLC:  Whether you go for a haircut, having your nails done, going for a massage or facial, taking time off to pamper yourself does wonders for the mind, body and soul.  Burning candles in the bathroom whilst bathing or showering can instantly calm you down.  A lovely scented body wash or bubble-bath also does wonders to the senses.
  • Taking care of your hair:  a good shampoo and conditioner is key to keeping your hair looking healthy and shiny.  Choosing products that contain Argan oil, macadamia oil or coconut oil, are great options; especially for you scalp as well.  If it is possible (even in winter), try to let your hair dry naturally now and then.  Too much heat can dry out your hair quickly, so try not to use a hairdryer every single time.  Colouring your hair is fine, as long as you use a product that will nourish your hair as well.  Healthy hair, just like your skin and body, also depends on a good, balanced diet and drinking enough water.

There are many products to choose from today.  Personal experience has taught me to read the label and/or do research before buying a product that I don’t know.  More brands are opting for healthier ingredients, for example Avon has a range that has no parabens and dyes in.  Sensitive, allergy-prone skins must opt for those products especially developed for those type of skins.  If you are unsure, ask someone who knows the products and/or do your own research

In the Southern Hemisphere we are heading into winter and in the North, it is time for summer.  No matter what season you are in, take care of yourself, make a conscious choice to cook more at home (you can always cook in bulk and freeze it to save time during the week), take time out for a pamper (even if it is just switching your electronics off to enjoy some quiet time) and remember, no matter what the weather is like outside, keep your body moving!

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