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The Big Unveil- Get your body ready for summer

Most people cover up in the winter so when the sun shines and the temperature goes up our bodies are not looking their best. Here are some tips on getting your body ready for the summer.   2016-06-19
 

Healthy Skin

Your skin is well hidden away all winter under woolly jumpers, thick socks or tights so it’s easy to neglect the dry spots on your elbows, knees, ankles and feet.  Before jumping into a shower:

  • Swap harsh soaps for a skin-softening body wash that is free of chemicals
  • Exfoliate with an oil-based microdermabrasion body scrub. This gets rid of get rid of all the dead skin cells and make room for fresh ones to surface.
  • Massage in a rich thick moisturiser to keep your skin healthy, soft and hydrated. It is best applied right after a shower when your body is warm and your pores are open. It’s also imperative in looking after your skin to use sunscreen every day, especially in summer.
  • Remove unwanted hair safely - waxed and shaved areas can often cause rashes, pimples, bumps and ingrown hairs, especially if clothes are irritating the area. To ensure smooth skin make sure that the area to be waxed or shaved is warm so you don’t have goose bumps. Leave irritated skin alone until it is clear. After waxing or shaving, make sure the area is completely dry, then massage in some coconut oil or tea tree oil, which will repair the delicate skin.

Pretty Feet

One of the most neglected area of the body; spend a few minutes a day on foot care to help your feet feel and look great:

  • Soften hard skin - Make it a habit to use a pumice stone or foot file on damp heels and hard skin. First, soak your feet in water or a foot bath for 10 to 15 minutes to help soften the skin and ten gently remove the thickened skin with a pumice stone.
  • Moisturise - Moisturise your feet after washing – often a basic lotion will do but if your heels are very dry and cracked look for creams containing glycerol or glycerin which helps to retain water. Moisturising foot scrubs made from botanicals such as crushed fruit pits, sugar, or chemical exfoliators also help remove dead skin. After you scrub, apply a rich foot cream or balm containing shea butter or cocoa butter.
  • Avoid Infections- Dark and damp conditions are the ideal setting for fungal infections. Wash and dry your feet completely especially between the toes to avoid these problems.  Over-the-counter antifungal treatments can be bought and comes in many forms -- lacquers, creams, lotions, liquids, spray powders, and spray liquids.
  • Sunscreen. Wear sunscreen on the tops of your feet. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to your feet when you're going barefoot or wearing open sandals.
  • Toenails- To avoid hangnails and ingrown toenails, cut them in a straight line. Moisturise your toenails using a cuticle cream, petroleum jelly, or vitamin E oil. Put it over the entire nail, including the cuticle, and gently rub it in.
  • Nail Polish-Use a bright nail polish to jazz up the appearance of your feet and you are now ready to put them on display.

Weight alert

Most people gain weight over the winter because they don’t have to expose their bodies. We tend to eat more and exercise less, using the bad weather as an excuse to curl up on the couch when not at work or at school. Despite knowing this, we still find ourselves in the same position each spring, desperately searching for motivation to get in shape before the inevitable skin-baring season of summer begins.

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Start Slowly

There is no such thing as a quick fix when it comes to health, but there are many ways to lose weight and get healthier without making major sacrifices / lifestyle changes.

  • A healthy and nutritious diet. Fresh fruits and vegetables are important in a healthy and nutritious diet, especially for people who are hoping to drop a few pounds. The nutritional value is high and the caloric value is low, meaning large portions can be eaten while still trimming the waistline. Enjoy at least three to five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables per day.
  • Keeping a food journal. This is also important when it comes to weight loss. Keeping track of each and every piece of food eaten in a day, actually holds people accountable for what they are putting in their bodies. For many, this technique provides a necessary wake up call. It's easy to shrug off a piece of chocolate here and a bag of chips there, but when it's getting tracked, the likelihood of following through on eating a naughty treat is lowered. The journal won't lie and it won't turn a blind eye, so if losing weight before summer is a priority, get tracking!
  • Get outside and increase physical activity. The great thing about summer is the warm weather and the long hours of daylight make it easy to get outside and engage in physical activities like walking, jogging, swimming, biking and hiking. It is also good for you. Research also showed that the more you exercise, the more you can reduce your risk of disease. In particular, a 2011 study published in the British medical journal The Lancet found that as little as 15 minutes of exercise a day correlated to a significant drop in mortality rate and an average additional three years’ life expectancy across all age groups.
  • Eating healthy is 80% responsible for losing weight and transforming the body. However, a person can’t get a fitter without a fitness routine. Most fitness professionals recommend people work out at least three to five times per week doing a combination of weight training and cardio training to lose pounds.
  • Whether you’re an omnivore or the strictest of vegans, nearly everyone can benefit from eating more servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Fortunately, spring and early summer are the perfect time to start incorporating more of these superfoods into your diet.

Keeping fit whilst on Holiday

  • Diet Sipping cocktails and eating indulgent food all day shouldn't be your holiday. Enjoy delicious fresh fruit and vegetables and avoid fatty, greasy fast food.
  • Keep moving Swimming, hiking, or late afternoon walks will keeps the pounds at bay.  
  • Hydration Drinking plenty of water particularly if you are under the sun all day, will keep your organs cleansed and your bodily functions moving along. Water also improves the texture and suppleness of your skin.
  • Get a golden glow Tanned skin enhances muscle and skin tone and may camouflage unsightly marks. Sunbathe sensibly and always use a sunscreen.

Summer sunlight brings natural health benefits such as:

  • Lower blood pressure - the UV rays in sunlight makes the body produce nitric oxide which can reduces blood pressure and cut the risks of heart attack and strokes.
  • Manufacture of Vitamin D - sunlight on the skin leads to the manufacture of vitamin D. This is essential for the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorous which is necessary for the maintenance of healthy bones.
  • Improved mood - sunlight affects the production of Serotonin in the brain which improves our moods.
  • Improved sleep cycle - Sunlight affects the production of melatonin which is essential to your circadian rhythm and this can be help you sleep.
  • Reduced pain - people who suffer from arthritis experience less pain in warmer weather so the sun can gradually increase their mobility and agility.

Enjoy the summer but if you haven’t managed to achieve your best body start now and by next year you will be there!