Health and beauty tips for the season
DR. RACHEL DAY, ND
Do the fall and winter seasons bring high stress and dull flaky skin? Is it time to start thinking about how to take time for yourself and leave the stress behind this year? Finding and keeping motivation for the foundations of health: exercise, food choices, water intake, sleep and self-care can be put on the back burner leaving residual problems for the following year. As we barrel towards the end of the year and get underway with gift purchasing, parties and travel planning it is important to take some time for yourself. Fortunately, there are some surprising ways to move forward in the health department. Following the 3 steps below will keep you on track for a healthy holiday season and a great start to the New Year.
Consider A Change – Maintaining current exercise routines may be difficult to impossible in the winter months. There are so many benefits to exercising, including lowering the risk of heart failure, type 2 diabetes, inflammation and increasing good cholesterol in the body. Ensure that you can schedule in a minimum of three 30-60-minute sessions of exercise per week. Not only has this regimen been studied for cardiovascular health, it can lower cortisol levels (stress) and help with mood. Take advantage of clear days when they come and invest in appropriate outdoor gear to make exercising outdoors more enjoyable. Even then, you may get to take your exercise indoors from time to time. For many outdoor enthusiasts, this less desirable activity during the winter will improve your outdoor experience in the not so distant future. Try switching it up with a new YouTube video or gym class until you find one that resonates with your style of exercise, stay flexible until Spring arrives!
Healthy Food Means Healthy Cells – Food choices can get out of control especially with parties and vacation time. Intermittent fasting (14-16 hours overnight) with a high protein breakfast can cut down on carb and sugar cravings. Drinking plenty of water, approximately half your weight in ounces, will satisfy excess hunger and keep skin hydrated and glowing. Proper nutrition is the best self-care. Healthy food means healthy cells, ensuring skin and all other body parts receive exactly what they need to function properly. Keep note of what (and how much) you put on your plate and remember to eat fresh fruits, greens and enough protein. A diet rich in Vitamin C and low in unhealthy fats and sugar promotes radiant skin. This low sugar diet can keep insulin levels down, allowing all cells to have a healthy balance of energy.
Mix In Relaxation – Our skin and energy levels can show the brunt of chronic stress and dry cold temperatures. Trying new relaxation techniques is the way to improve focus and productivity. Facials, massage and acupuncture can ensure you feel your best and your skin shows it! A facial by a licensed esthetician not only helps remove dry dead skin cells, it comes with a skin analysis and recommendations for professional products which are tailored to your skin type. During the winter, skin hydration can be lacking. Hydration is related to the amount of water in the skin. This process is mostly affected by what we eat and drink and can be enhanced with products that use humectants to hydrate the skin. Skin serves as a protective barrier for the body and consists of lipids (oil) that help hold in water. Using an occlusive moisturizer daily helps ensure skin does not lose the hydration it needs to function. If you’ve never tried acupuncture for relaxation or are nervous about needles find a practitioner that uses tuning forks or low-level laser on acupuncture points. Massage and acupuncture have been shown in recent research to effectively lower perceived levels of stress and increase quality of sleep. Often these appointments get deferred due to being overbooked, it is important to schedule these appointments early to get the most benefit for your energy levels.
It’s important to take time for yourself.
Embracing these simple but effective strategies will change the way you look and feel during in the upcoming months. Winding down this year can be a positive experience that launches you into your 2020 health goals. Regular exercise, healthy nutrition and self-care will continue to provide numerous and lasting benefits