A healthier, happier you: 3 easy wellness habits to start this spring
I love spring.
These past few days of glorious sunshine has reminded me how much I adore this season, with its brighter, warmer days, longer evenings, flowers blooming and that burst of beautiful energy we all just seem to get when the weather warms up.
I also think spring is a great time for starting some new, healthy habits – ones that I am hoping to keep up all through summer – and beyond.
The problem? Often we aim too big, I think, when making healthier changes to our lifestyle – which often ends up coming to a crashing halt when we fall off the wagon. Which is why I am a big believer in small changes, habits that are easier to keep going, and that will actually end up having a major positive effect on your long-term health.
Curious about where to start? How about these three:
1. Foam rolling
If you have yet to hear about foam rolling, you clearly have not been keeping up with what the wellness crowd is into these days.
Foam rollers (you'll pick one up for around €10 from your local TK Maxx) are the new pilates – or barre, if you will, and according to Goop's wellness guru and alignment expert, Lauren Roxburgh, can help transform your body posture and make you leaner and fitter.
"Using a foam roller can also boost circulation and lubrication to the tissue, which makes the skin and muscle look and feel more supple and youthful. Rolling also stimulates the lymphatic system to help flush toxins, get rid of bloating, and even reduce cellulite. A regular rolling routine can help you lose inches, shrink your waistline, gain height, and even feel calmer."
The best bit? Youtube is filled with easy-to-follow videos on how to get your foam rolling routine going.
2 Dry brushing
While interviewing a holistic nutritionist a few years back (about something food-related, not skincare), we got chatting about morning routines, and she revealed to me she never, ever started her day without dry brushing and that she credited the habit with her skin looking seriously amazing for her age (she was in her mid 50s at the time, yet looked not a day over 35!)
This, of course, made me all sorts of curious about dry brushing, and upon doing some research, I actually discovered it has tons of benefits, stretching far beyond just keeping your skin smooth and firm. The most obvious benefit is that it feels invigorating and wakes you up in the morning. Also, dry brushing is a great way of exfoliating your skin, making sure you don't end up with ingrown hairs when shaving, and ensuring all your creams and lotions sink in quicker.
As well as this, dry brushing stimulates your lymphatic system, which in turn helps release toxins in your skin by allowing them to pass more freely. It removes dead skin cells, stimulates blood flow and helps cell regeneration and blood circulation.
All this in just 10 morning minutes? It would be crazy not to.
3. Drink smarter
What you start and end your day with can actually have a huge impact on your health and body. When you wake in the morning, your body has been fasting (while you sleep) for hours, and you want to make sure you gently "wake up" your digestive system before you start your day of eating and drinking.
Drink a large glass of hot lemon water after waking up, and you'll boost your immune system (Lemons are high in Vitamin C), balance your pH (lemons are a very alkaline food, which is all sorts of good for your health) and even kick-start your weight-loss (Lemons are high in pectin fiber, which helps fight hunger cravings).
You can also boost your health right before bed by sipping on a glass of water with a tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar.
Why? Well, it kicks your metabolism into overdrive and cures acid reflux and heartburn, which some of us suffer with at night – oh, and did we mention it is all sorts of great for your gut health too?