I wrote here about the good life in eating well, and got quite a few comments! Thank you all for replying and sending back tips and links on choosing – and cooking – good food.
Now that spring is coming close, we’re getting more and more aware of our own bodies. Here are some extra tips on how to take care of yourself, so that you renew your cells from the inside out, preparing for a new rebirth.
1. Get moving!
I recently had the opportunity to visit a delightful location in England, that simply makes you want to get out, walk or go running. In my first morning there, at 7 am, in the chilly air (it must have been around 0-5 degrees out side, with ice on the hillside grass), I went out running.
I’m not a passionate runner. That is, I run once or twice per week. But I tell you, the first feel of spring got me out of the house, and heading for the park, in my running sneakers. And that felt amazing!
Running has a few advantages. First, it builds your overall body tone. It releases endorphines, making you feel happy. It builds energy. It makes you enjoy the outside air and nature. What more reasons do you want?
2. Charge your skin.
Now, I know it was recently Women’s Day, but I’m not talking only women pampering here. It’s all about taking care of yourself, whether it’s giving yourself the time to take a bath, or simply going the extra mile for a good scent instead of the usual soap-and-water routine.
When you do your everyday body care, pay attention to how your skin feels. Itchy? Red? Or soft? Your body sends out signals – you only need to listen. Give yourself the attention you need, even if that means taking a few extra minutes for a scrub or brush to get rid of dead skin.
3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
With the risk of this post sounding more like a Cosmopolitan article, I can’t advocate enough on the importance of drinking water. It builds up your cells from within. It’s the easiest way to take care of yourself (ok, besides breathing). Drink good water, between 1.5 and 2 liters per day. Don’t overdo it – your body should tell you when it’s enough.
But do rely on this advice: When you’re thirsty, it’s already too late.
Get used to drinking water at specific moments during the day: when you get up, at 10 in the morning, before lunch, at 3-4 afternoon, at 7 and (if your bladder can take it) right before you go to bed.
Soups or teas also count. But coffee and alcohol are de-hydrators (if you drink coffee, supplement your water intake. And for each glass of wine, drink 2 glasses of water).
Now, how do you find the time to build all of these into your daily routine?
Easy. Water drinking is a habit. Get a 0.5 liter cup or water bottle and keep it on your desk, at all times. When it’s empty, refill it, even if you’re not thirsty at that moment.
Skin care and brushing are part of daily hygiene. All you need is a loofah brush or even a scratchy towel. And 5 extra minutes in the morning.
Running or exercising is going to be a big one. But start slow, with stretching in the morning or getting out of the office for a walk at lunch.
Next step: try doing Sun Salutations before breakfast. One takes about 30 seconds and you can learn it here:
and what it’s good for you can find here:
Once you’re comfortable with moving, take some extra time from your schedule and invest it in something that’s both regular and provides enjoyment. Take some dancing classes. If you haven’t seen “Shall We Dance” with Richard Gere, it proves that even those that are most hopeless at dancing can still move around and become participants at amateur dancing contests.
Or, if you feel like starting a habit, go for running. Buy some good running shoes, that’s all you need. For me, what did the trick was a great running music routine, from Nike. Plug in your headphones and Ipod, and head for the park.
Enjoy spring, and keep moving!