A guide to getting your mind, body and skin fit for summer

25th Oct 2017
Spring into summer

Falling into bad habits during the winter months is so easy it almost seems as if waking up late, skipping yoga and falling behind on your skincare regimen was always your routine. And while longer, warmer days are welcome when spring arrives, it also means a harsh light is thrown on your lax behaviour. Adopting a healthier attitude to mind and body means now is the time to clean up your act and prepare for the warmer months ahead.

Rather than a drastic overhaul that’s bound to be abandoned when it all seems too hard, setting yourself simple goals will not only seem achievable when your 6am wake-up call sounds, but also realistic. The smallest of changes to a routine can do wonders for your frame of mind, so think of these tips as starting points for a transformation that should stay with you long after summer is over.

Fit it in
For personal trainer and yogi Shona Vertue, who counts David Beckham as a client, taking steps towards a better body means avoiding reactive workouts and focusing on tracking your results so you can see that what you have committed to is working.

“What exercise practice would you recommend for someone looking to reset their fitness goals?”

“Yoga is a practice than encourages mindfulness. It asks that you pay more attention to physical sensations and thoughts that may be holding you back from achieving health. And it’s really about increasing awareness – when we have a better awareness of our body, we take better care of it – rather than having to take reactive, rehabilitative measures, by paying attention to early signs of sickness and injury before it occurs. I would recommend more than just yoga, and always suggest combining it with resistance and cardiovascular training, to ‘reset’ and achieve both a strong, flexible and agile body.”

“Once you’ve decided on your fitness goals, how do you suggest sticking to them?”

“Keeping track of results, not just how your body looks, but also how it’s changing in strength, fitness and flexibility, is a great way to stay motivated, as it shows you evidence that there is a point to all your hard work.”

“What easy lifestyle changes do you recommend to clients looking to change their routines for the better?”

“Drink more water, eat more vegetables (of different colours), move vigorously every day (particularly if your job is quite sedentary), make sure you consume enough protein to match your increased activity and reduce your alcohol intake.”

Mind over matter
New goals, new you? No idea where to start? The first step in your rehabilitation is to create realistic goals and stick to them.

First and foremost, it’s important to identify what you want to achieve, says life coach Cynthia Talone on successful goal setting.

“This can be hard for many of us, as we can be really great at knowing what we don’t want. Evaluating and reflecting where we would like to be in five years, three years, one year, 6 months and 3 months from now is a great way to start the planning process.”

Talone adds it’s best to think of your goals as stepping stones at first, and stresses the importance of remaining flexible. Adapting to change and your surroundings is the key to reaching your goals in the short and long terms.

“If we are not more specific, realistic and flexible when we create our goals, it can prevent us from achieving them,” Talone says. “Aiming high is great, however, we sometimes get tripped up in the day-to-day grind and forget to focus our attention on the small steps that are needed to help us achieve our goals.”

Otherwise, the biggest hurdle Talone encounters with her clients in the goal-setting journey stems from feeling unworthy and not being agile in the long-term. She says this is an easy trap to fall into, but it’s important to regularly take stock of how far you’ve come, even if you haven’t reached the final destination.

Reassess your make-up wardrobe
Mastering your beauty routine in the transeasonal months, in preparation for that rising mercury, should be as simple one, two, three, says Lara Srokowski, national make-up director for Lancôme. She suggests paring things back and recalibrating your approach.

Step one: streamline

“For an effortless beauty routine this spring, think less is more when it comes to the amount of products used. Keep your skincare to a minimum and use concentrated lightweight products like serums instead of moisturisers. This way you still get the results and benefits, but with layering fewer products,” says Srokowski, who believes stripping back your routine will pay off in the long run.

Step two: focus

Once you’ve whittled your regimen down to the basics, figure out what gaps there are in your beauty arsenal and investigate your options. Missing a reliable SPF? Need a travel- friendly lipstick? Now’s the time to create your wish list and do some research.

Step three: trial and error

Before splurging, take the time to play around with the up-coming trends of the season and master the techniques necessary to conquer these looks – there’s no point in investing if you feel uncomfortable. Expect to see “bold bright lips, fresh effortless skin with a pop of colour on the cheeks”, says Srokowski of summer’s biggest trends – so now is the time to finally get around to mastering lip liner.

Hair dos
Whether your aim is to keep colour-treated hair looking fresh or prep locks for those UV rays, these tips will have you covered. INVEST IN …

“Taking care of the condition and colour of your hair is very important,” says Kerry Warn, a hair expert for John Frieda. He recommends that “even if you don’t have coloured or chemically treated hair, adding a treatment or serum to your weekly routine will help hydrate, repair and restore balance, softness and shine.” AVOID…

“The most common mistakes are really over- use of styling tools, which is extreme heat,” says Warn. “It’s important to use a heat protectant: choose a serum based on thickness and texture of your hair.”

Perfect your base
For skin, it is all a matter of knowing your ingredients. Glycerine, ceramides and fatty acids such as linoleic acid and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) should form the basis of your skincare routine, says Dr Michelle Hunt, of Inner Sydney Dermatology and a fellow of the Australasian College of Dermatologists. “Moisturisers containing AHAs will not only hydrate the skin but help exfoliate dead skin cells, which is great preparation for fake tans,” says Hunt, who also advises that you avoid long hot showers and overheating to help repair dry winter skin.

The Clinic co-director Kaye Scott notes: “A skincare regimen needs to be seasonally specific to be effective.” She says the biggest mistake she sees clients make during winter is not continuing to use sunscreen as diligently as they would in summer. “Coming out of winter, the skin is often dehydrated and sun-damaged, as we tend to be lazy with sun protection, cleansing and hydration. Ensuring the dead and dehydrated epidermal layer has been removed and your skin hydrated will make it much more receptive to products providing protection going into the summer,” says Scott.

If you’re dealing with pigmentation problems after winter or have been negligent with sun care, Scott suggests trying Fraxel, a non- invasive laser therapy that targets the deep layers of the skin and is effective in treating pigmentation, discolouration, freckles, sun spots, age spots, acne scarring and overall skin rejuvenation.

“In combination with Fraxel, tyrosinase inhibitors, skin brightening serums, retinol and hydration are the most important ingredients for the skin coming out of winter,” says Scott.

Float on
If you find it hard to switch off, consider a dip into float therapy, suggests Shaun Button, founder of Koa Recovery, who says that apart form giving you a chance to unplug from your life, “Float therapy and the use of sensory deprivation in warm magnesium-dencse water provides a range of benefits, including a decrease in stress and cortisol levels, a boost to the immune system and a lowering of blood pressure.”


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