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Health and Beauty Articles

Beat the winter Blues


I don’t know about you, but I have the same battle year in year out with trying to stay motivated in the autumn/winter and am always trying not to fall into the same routine as the year before...
 The second October arrives I whip out the pasta and throw away the browning lettuce leaves; this of course leads to the dreaded ‘winter weight’ as I affectionately call it. With the colder weather coming in and our bums firmly planted on our settees now that X factor, Strictly Come Dancing and Desperate Housewives are back on our screens our fitness levels plummet to a measly walk from the couch to the cupboards, to retrieve chocolate and crisps and ignore the mouldy tangerines and bananas gathering bacteria in the fruit bowl - and so the vicious cycle goes on and on...
Do we just use the winter as an excuse to give way to an unhealthier lifestyle that we strive to do the opposite of in the summer? Or does the climate affect us that dramatically that our health and wellbeing suffers? Here’s some insightful information to kick-start a healthy autumn and winter, hopefully leaving you feeling a bit more positive and determined than before.

You and your wellbeing

Wellbeing means you’re effectively living a life of contentment, mental vigour and brilliant health. It’s an ideal we all strive for, be it for ourselves or in our relationships with friends, family, partners or children. I feel the best way to achieve a good sense of wellbeing is to allow time; time for yourself and time to get from A to B without rushing and giving yourself to undue stress. It’s important to give yourself a good start to the day by managing your time well. Try this simple yet effective A.M. routine:
  • Wake an hour before your usual time (yep, that means an hour’s extra sleep the night before!)
  • Pour yourself a cup of hot water with lemon juice or green/peppermint herbal tea and drink whilst familiarising yourself with the day ahead without the distraction of a T.V or newspaper.
  • Add lemon essential oil and fresh lemon slices to a small bowl of warm water (5 drops of lemon oil, 6 or more fresh lemon slices) then, after soaking a flannel in this and draining it work the mixture all over the body and face in the shower (avoid having too hot a shower as this will make you listless, not invigorated.) Finish your body cleanse with a thick coconut body moisturiser. Lemon is one of the most beneficial essential oils for stimulating the mind and increasing alertness, perfect for bringing you round on those dark mornings!
  • Create a space on your bedroom or living room floor for some simple yet awakening yoga stretches such as the cobra and bow – see online yoga sites for detailed explanations of movements.
  • Go for a brisk ten minute walk and drink a glass of cold water when you go back inside.
And voila! You’re ready for your day ahead with a clear and alert mind and body.

Exercise

Not everyone’s a gym go-er, a fantastic cyclist or energetic runner (I look like I’ve just completed a full marathon when I’ve actually just been running for ten minutes!) It’s all about finding what suits you and not caring about what others are doing around you. There’s no need to be worried about going to the gym, everyone’s there for the same purpose – to get fit and be healthier. It’s recommended that you do at least 2 hours of exercise per week, ask yourself are you managing that? If not, here are some suggestions to put a kick back in your step and more than cover the recommended weekly exercise for a person; and remember to try and vary your routine, as you WILL get bored doing the same thing each week!
Do a 30 minute walk 3 or 4 times a week
Cycle around your village or town doing 20-30 minutes each time, making sure you include some steeper inclines to help tone your legs and increase the heart rate
Jog or run once or twice weekly. Running too often will cause joint, shin and lower back problems and could lead to serious health problems later in life. 

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