New year, new change of gear

It’s time to kick-start all those New Year’s resolutions and get a better summer bod by taking a holistic approach.

If getting back into the swing of things is getting you down, you’re not the only one. That nice break is fading like a distant memory and now it’s back to the old grindstone – yuck. The holiday doesn’t have to end here though, because taking a break from this attitude will help you shed the post-festive doldrums and get your beach body back.

While we almost certainly overexerted ourselves around the Christmas table rather than in the gym this festive season, remember that weight gain is largely related to stress. So weight loss isn’t just about changing your behaviour with food and exercise – it’s about changing your attitude, too. There are a few simple things you can do to reduce your stress, and become fitter and healthier all round.

No sweat!

Getting in shape is about more than getting back into your skinny jeans. Exercise offers a two-pronged resolution to getting rid of the post-holiday blahs. It gets you in shape, which makes you look and feel good in yourself, but it also releases endorphins, which are great for buoying your mental health.

To exercise for body shaping and cardio benefit, you should be breaking a sweat, but the method you choose to induce this response is entirely up to what takes your fancy. Walking (with purpose) engages in cardiovascular exercise while not working out too hard. Jogging is good for calorie burning, but make sure you’re wearing the right shoes for supporting your feet and joints.

It’s not all about the gym membership, although these are super for encouraging us into a little more regular exercise if you’re like me – more likely to work out when I have a financial stake in the matter. Yoga and pilates are excellent for toning and strengthening your muscles as well as relaxing the mind. Rent exercise videos or even slip small bouts of repetitions into your daily routine, like squats while you brush your teeth and tricep dips while you watch television. Remember, every little bit counts!

For those of us that need to spur on the results, there are plenty of body sculpting options to streamline our silhouettes and make a dent in pesky cellulite. In many instances, this frustration stems from an inability to lose weight in certain areas despite a healthy diet and vigorous exercise regime.

Localised fat deposits and cellulite are the result of our genetic predisposition to store fat in certain areas of the body, for which liposuction offers a good option for the right candidate. However, treatments such as Endermologie and Hypoxi offer a non-surgical solution.

Endermologie is a non-invasive treatment that manipulates the connective tissue to sculpt the body. Hypoxi combines a vacuum and compression treatment whereby the skin is gently pulled and pushed. As a result of this manipulation, the tissue forces toxins out. This improves the texture of the skin and benefits elasticity. At the same time, through gentle cycling on the Hypoxi equipment, blood pressure is stimulated. This promotes transportation of fatty acids from low blood pressure regions.

All body sculpting methods work best in conjunction with an effective exercise regime. In fact, some methods are dependant on it. The Power Plate machine works by transferring vibrations to muscles, which naturally activates reflexive muscle contractions. Different poses are held on the machine’s vibrating platform, activating multiple muscle groups simultaneously to stretch, tone or strengthen, and enabling you to target particular areas of the body.

Tanya Viscariello from Bamboozel’d spa, uniform and leisurewear says getting yourself equipped with a sleek new range of exercise wear can kick-start your motivation and make you feel confident while you stride around the exercise paths. ‘It’s important to both look and feel great while you’re exercising – comfort is key,’ she says. ‘Our range is organic bamboo, which has a silky texture and is naturally anti-bacterial and hypo-allergenic. It absorbs moisture very quickly so it keeps you dry and odour-free.’

Exercise can improve your mood, help prevent disease, and it keeps you looking fabulous – and not having a gym membership can’t stop you! Just small, conscious changes can yield some serious benefits in the long run.

Snack right

Don’t stress about post-holiday weight gain, we all fall victim to consumption during the party season. While the quick fixes to rid us of that extra little muffin puff, like not eating dinner or limiting ourselves to 500 calories a day may have appeal, it’s not the approach that reaps long-term benefits. It may be boring but portion-controlled, regular meals will get you closer to where you want to be for good.

Reset your body and your habits by eating in a more clean and measured way after those weeks of freewheeling eating. Keep a food diary if you need to and steer clear of grazing, cutting out snacking for three to four weeks. I love my Ramen noodles as much as the next girl but we need to stop before making a grab for the takeout menu and ordering up a dinner high in calories, sodium and fat. Take-away and pre-packaged foods are fine every once in a while, but if you plan your meals ahead of time, doing a weekly grocery, fruit and veg shop, you won’t face this dilemma. It also goes without saying that quitting smoking will do wonders for your health.

Some people like a strict detox diet, but eating fresh food and drinking lots of water will suffice. There are plenty of specialised beverages and detox assistants that can aid this process. For example, Allsvelte teas and coffees may assist with weight loss, reduce fatigue and improve alertness, as well as supporting healthy liver detoxification processes.

We all know water is muy importante, but let’s just reiterate. It keeps you feeling full, prevents dehydration and clears your body of toxins. Sweating, drinking alcohol and merely functioning every day cause a loss of water and it’s up to you to replace it. If you want to be healthy with a fabulous complexion, you need to drink the water!

Don’t worry, be happy

When you think about it, there’s always a little something preventing you from starting afresh. Whether it’s drama with your friends, missing your ex or holding onto a grudge, forgiveness seems like a small task but will make a big difference to your wellbeing.

It turns out that forgiving and forgetting may also help to reduce chronic pain, lower blood pressure and maintain healthier relationships in general. So dig deep to solve what’s been bothering you. As cliche as it may seem, let the past be the past and let this year be your healthy, happy future.