Return to Healthy Lifestyles After the Holidays Helps Chase the Blues Away

If you’re looking for post-holiday motivation to get back in to the healthy living game, look no further than the mirror. Our skin will show signs of what we’ve eaten or what we’re feeling often before our brains process it.

That’s because our skin has a physiological response to stress, anxiety, environmental factors, and yes - our diet.

Skin is the largest organ on our body so while our motivation is often rooted in vanity (just being honest), taking care of it is actually essential for your overall health and wellness. It is the best thing you can do for your health and emotional wellbeing - and doing so will help make you feel better and keep anxiety, stress and depression at arms length.

The effects of your hard work and dedication to well being will show on your face - in the form of healthy, glowing skin. 

With the post-holiday letdown, let’s get started with baby steps and build slowly till you’re back to practicing healthy habits on the daily. 

Follow these suggestions and do the best you can to set achievable goals. Be kind to yourself - no one needs to be dealing with sugar withdrawals and hunger pangs on the first day! So be realistic and back off slowly. You’ll find that smaller increments will help you stay consistent until you’re feeling so good and glowing you won't need to think about it.

Let's begin.

Detox.
Begin with this step to cleanse your body to rid your system of toxins.
Drink water to flush out your system.

Get started with 8 glasses of water spaced out through the day. The actual quantity you need varies by weight and takes in to account your lifestyle (like, obviously if you’re exercising you need more).

Eat colorful vegetables and raw foods (not just salad).
Vary your diet with colorful, plant based foods. Eating the rainbow helps ensure you're getting the various vitamins and nutrients your body needs to feel good. To know what to eat and why, check out this list here.

Try to mix it up between cooked and raw.
Try this recipe for quick sautéd green veggies - it's savory, fast and healthy. Perfect for the after work dinner rush or a quick lunch if you work from home.

The best thing about eating raw foods like berries and salads is that they’re faster to prep. We’re not talking about your mother’s version of raw (just celery sticks) there are all kinds of raw foods that benefit gut health. Add a splash of fermented, raw foods like apple cider vinegar to your salad, sprinkle on a few raw, sprouted seeds or try sauerkraut - all excellent choices that help detox your system and bring your gut biome into optimized balance.

Go for whole grains and avoid processed or white foods (like rice, pasta, bread).

Sweat it out.

Get rid of those toxins through exercise. Yep, it sounds really gnarly but it’s true. If you’re short on time, start with ten jumping jacks or burpees and build from there till you crack a sweat. An added benefit to detox is you’ll get your heart rate up, too.

The benefits of eating well will make your skin glow and boost your mood. A necessary step to keep the blues at bay.

Boost your metabolism.
Get exercise.
Do not overthink this or let it become complicated! Just start moving with 5-10 minutes per day, inside or outside, and build from there.
Strive for 20-30 minutes 3-5x per week, but if you’re not there yet do not despair.
If you have stairs, take a break from the screens and walk up and down your stairs for 5-10 minutes. Jumping jacks, high knees, running in place and burpees do not take up much space and can be accomplished spontaneously. 
Or use a chair for stability and do calf and leg raises.

Start with small, intentional steps and build up to regular aerobic exercise. Just be consistent.

Eat spicy foods.
Particularly foods spiced with cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, chilis and peppers that contain 

capsaicinoids like red pepper flakes and other hot peppers are known to help give your metabolism a boost.

Eat smaller meals evenly spaced through the day.

Try to eat protein rich, plant based foods including legumes, nuts and seeds which also help keep you feeling satiated.

Eat as soon as you wake up in the morning.
Even coffee and green tea as part of a healthy breakfast are wonderful metabolism boosters.

(Bonus, green tea also detoxes your system and contains antioxidants)

Don’t eat after 8pm.

Acknowledging this is a bit of a challenge particularly if you have teens, and requires more willpower. Just try.

Do high intensity workouts.
High intensity will rev up your metabolism by elevating your heart rate and helps to burn calories.

Do resistance training (lifting weights).
If you don't have weights or the space for weights, try resistance bands which fold up small and will fit in a drawer. They come in different thicknesses. 
The more repetitions you do, despite the weight you lift, you'll be increasing your metabolism and raising your heart rate (all good).

Get enough sleep.

Mom called it ‘beauty sleep’ for a reason. Restorative sleep is how our bodies recharge, helping to boost our moods and keep our brains healthy.

Exercise plays a role with sleep quality and regular exercise helps you get to sleep easier and stay asleep. Though try not to exercise too close to bed time as it is stimulating and makes it harder to fall asleep.

Try a shower or bath before bed time to relax.

Add epsom salts or a few drops of essential oils if you’re feeling aches or muscle strains.

Try to limit screen time 30-45 minutes before bed as the blue wave emitted stimulates brain function. Read a book instead.

Take care of your skin and feel better.
Follow healthy skin practices and it'll show both on your face as well as boost your mood.

The combination of holiday indulgences and being more lax about routines during winter months wreaks havoc on skin health.

This plus colder temperatures and indoor heating dry out our skin and make it more vulnerable to environmental factors like pollution and UV rays from sun exposure.

Moisturize twice per day and more frequently if needed.

Spritz water or use a hydrating spray to spritz your face as needed. Dry skin is a warning your skin’s defenses are weakened making it more vulnerable to environmental factors and sun damage. 

Exfoliate carefully.

Skin is weaker during winter months so gentle exfoliation is best followed up by moisturizing.

Exercise for your skin’s sake.

Even 5-10 minutes per day gets your blood circulating, thus carrying oxygen and nutrients to your skin cells, stimulates collagen production (!) and carries away free radicals that damage skin. 

Get your beauty sleep. Restorative sleep is the time for your skin to repair and regenerate itself.

Sun protect your skin year round.

It's important to sun protect your skin even during winter months because the sun’s rays don’t retreat. Ever. Every single day the sun is out radiating light, warmth and ultraviolet rays which do reach the earth’s surface.

This means there is no season or break in sun damage for our skin. It's every day. In some geographic areas the amount of UV radiation doesn’t even change during winter months.

Even low levels of sun exposure add up over a lifetime so get ahead of it and wear your sunscreen and sun protect your skin year round with UPF clothing.
 
Here's why:
UVB rays do skin damage year round, but particularly at higher altitudes and on

reflective surfaces such a snow, ice, water and yes, glass and mirrored surfaces like phones, tablets and sunglasses (all are reflective surfaces).

UVA rays can penetrate through window glass so even when you’re at home sitting by the window, or in your car, an airplane or at the gym or coffee shop you are being exposed to sun damage.

The notion that clouds and fog offer protection is misaligned. UV rays do penetrate through cloud and fog cover and sun damage can happen.

Find a good, physical sunscreen you're comfortable wearing every day.

Find comfortable, flattering and stylish sun protection clothing that will complement your wardrobe. This makes it easier to wear every day which is what's needed to protect your skin.

For the hard core (and once you’ve detox’d) here are more steps you can take to feel better.

Cut back on sugar
Cut back on meat
Cut back on alcohol

Eat vegan or vegetarian (some or all of your meals)

You can do it! Interested to defend your glow with more healthy skin tips?  How about 30 pages worth? Sign up here or use the form below.

#getheligirl #wearUPF #defendyourglow

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