The Summer holidays are fast approaching – far faster than I dare think about really, while I love the children being home it needs careful planning as working from home with 2 children around isn’t always easy, a couple of weeks is doable with working in the evenings and relying on playdates but 6 weeks is a little tougher.
Summer makes me think on brilliant sunshine (hopefully – this is England after all!), barbecue coals roasting, and its that time where we’re all shedding our clothes and enjoying ourselves. So it’s a perfect time to shake up our outlook on health with a few tips and tricks, which could make all the difference.
Here’s 8 quick fixes that will make you feel like a new person and carry you into Autumn and Winter with a fresh perspective on your health. or at least give you a great start and frame of mind for summer.
Have you ever looked at yoga and thought: “It’s not for me”? Many would actually tell you that you’re wrong, as the flexibility and variability of the stretches and poses cater for the fitness fanatic and the inexperienced newbie alike
I had never tried Yoga before until I went to a sleep retreat with Huggies as part of my Ambassador campaign with them last year, to start I was a little self conscious as its not something I had done before (even having to borrow exercise clothes to take part), but I loved it, I came away feeling relaxed, refreshed and like a new me. It’s definitely something I am looking to continue with when I find a local class.
Low fat barbecues?
One of the toughest challenges of the Summer sunshine is repelling the challenge of the barbecue. The sizzle of the burgers and sausages, accompanied by wedges, curly fries and beer and dips, is a dangerously intoxicating temptation for the dieter.
There are numerous measures that might work however; taking your own food, eating healthily before your arrive, driving so you force yourself to cut down on booze, and turning up once the food has finished cooking as the smell of cooking food will only make you feel hungrier.
You can also team your food with a delicious salad to fill you up instead of reaching for another burger.
Shed your vices
Junk food, alcohol, smoking, watching too much television, drinking too much coffee (this is my main vice along with drinking too much Prosecco with my sister)…. vices come in many forms. Alternatives exist for almost all, from digging out the running shoes, walking the school run instead of hopping into the car to swapping the tobacco to alternatives such as vapes to help you kick that habit.
Paul has recently started using a vape after my constant nagging about smoking in the house, as a non smoker myself I really don’t like the smell and it makes me feel ill, this has actually seen him cut down the amount he smokes which of course is a very good thing. There are a lot of choices around on not only the devices to use but the stuff to use with it (that’s as technical as I can get as it’s not something I am knowledgeable about), but I do know the e-liquids he uses are now all made in the UK.
Plan your food in small bursts
Nutritional experts promote the virtues of consuming smaller portions spread throughout the day. Eating healthier food such as nuts, berries, fish, vegetables/greens will banish hunger pains and make you feel like you’re not even dieting.
You should also try not to eat a big meal after 6pm as your body doesn’t have enough time to digest it. Breakfast should actually be your biggest meal of the day.
It’s estimated that as many as 25% of us don’t eat breakfast – myself included in this on most days.
By doing this however you are further denying fuel to a body that has not been tended for several hours, blood sugar levels are likely to be low, and headaches, dizziness and mood fluctuations are all possible.
At the worst, carry some breakfast bars in the car or keep some porridge in your office drawer!
You may have heard the old cliché that the healthy individual should drink eight litres of water a day, of course for most that is rather hard especially those of us with bladders the size of a pea! WebMD.com actually says that an ounce of water per pound of our weight will suffice to keep the kidneys and our digestive system running well.
If you aren’t all that keen on plain water, adding a little squash really won’t hurt or you could even try slicing up some citrus fruits to infuse the water.
Bring in the new year
If you’re anything like me then the pledges that were made on January 1 have long since faded by the middle of the month. It’s actually for that reason I have stopped making resolutions.
They may have related to food and drink, exercise, hobbies or finances. Whatever, there’s no hard and fast rule saying that you can’t take on a resolution in Summer.
Don’t fear the weather
Exercisers (the non seasoned among us – that includes me) are fickle beasts; it’s usually either too cold or too hot to go running.
To banish thoughts of the latter, get up early and go jogging at 6am if you can bear it, or eschew your usual hour-long jog in the baking heat when you get back from work for a 15-minute burst of power exercise such as short sprints, climbs, thrusts with regular water.
You could even pop on an exercise DVD and get the kids joining in too – turn it into a family affair, I know Emmy and Harry love joining in whenever I pop on my Hip Hop Abs DVDs on those rare occasions I remember and can actually be bothered.
Another thing I often forget but have actually been great at this year is making sure you have comfy footwear. It is the season of running around the garden, heading out blackberry picking and weather permitting heading off to the beach – I tend to buy new footwear in preparation….mainly because I can never find the older ones from previous years come summer BUT please do remember that new footwear may also need wearing in a little first! The last thing you want is to be out with the family on a day out and to have sore feet or even worse those covered in blisters.
This year I received a lovely pair from Cloggs – you’d be mistaken in thinking they only sell one type of shoes on their website, they actually sell a great number of brands from heels to flats with something to suit every style. I chose the Fly London Tram Brooklyn Leather Slingback Sandals in black.
These are a perfect mix between day and evening shoes. When it is too hot my feet swell and I struggle to get shoes on especially if I have taken them off in the day – these have 2 adjustable straps so even if my feet do swell I can adjust them to fit.
They have a low cork heel with a funky print on the trim and generous tread on the sole – they also have the brand name printed on the sole and this looks fab when walking on fresh sand leaving prints as you walk.
Comfy and practical – I wore these around the house for a few days to get used to them and to make sure they weren’t going to blister my feet and then wore out on many occasions – they are rather bouncy due to the cork soles and are super comfy.