How To Get A Spring In Your Step

1. De-stress while tidying up your mess

Spring cleaning offers many mental and physical health benefits. Wiping down surfaces, getting rid of dust and de-cluttering your space significantly reduces allergies that cause fatigue, sneezing and skin irritations. Cleaning can be de-stressing because taking out your frustrations on wiping away dirt and leaving behind a beautiful, minimalist space that is easy to work or relax in leaves you calm and feeling a sense of reward. It also helps you organise your items in terms of how often you use them, like finding a textbook that’s on your desk when studying for mid-terms. This boosts your productivity and increases efficiency. It also gives you a chance to find any old items that you no longer use or need and that can be donated to a local charity to make somebody else’s day. Cleaning could also be a great cardio workout for the day. So put on some upbeat music and dance as scrubbing away could burn a lot of calories.

2. Take a hike

As Spring approaches, the days are becoming warmer, making it a perfect time to exercise outside and get some Vitamin D. Taking hikes are free and you get to enjoy the calming effect of mother nature and explore your city. Vitamin D is essential for the body’s absorption of calcium which promotes bone strength, preventing chances of injury and increasing longevity. It also boosts the immune system which prevents seasonal allergies, colds/flus and increases your energy level. Going on hikes not only strengthens your core, but specifically increases muscle tone and builds strength in your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, hips and calves. This is beneficial if you often sit at a desk and let’s be frank, it will make you feel and look great!

3. Spring clean your skin

During Winter, your skin changes significantly. Did you know that your skin produces 10% less oil for each drop in temperature? This makes your skin dry and tighter. There are many beauty products on the market that prevent this. However, they’re often worth an arm and a leg, but don’t worry, we got you covered with simple DIY beauty recipes that can be made from ingredients in your kitchen cupboard. This not only scrubs away all of those collected excess dead skin cells, but it is also beneficial for your skin, which like a sponge, absorbs anything you put on it. It is therefore recommended to treat your skin like you should treat the rest of your body. Know exactly what you are feeding it and continuously nourish it. These two recipes are easy, affordable and can last up to six months. It is also suitable for all skin types. The number of times to scrub your skin depends on your skin type. If you have oily skin, you should exfoliate twice or thrice per week, if you have sensitive skin, once per week is fine.

DIY facial scrub:

Mix equal parts of bicarbonate of soda with water/rosewater.

Method and application:

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl until it reaches a wet, sand-like consistency. Store in a jar. When applying, gently massage the scrub in circular motions on your skin. Wash it off with lukewarm water, gently dab your skin with a towel and moisturise.

Benefits:

  • Brown sugar is less abrasive which makes it suitable for all skin types. Scrubbing your skin gets rid of dead skin cells as well as white/black heads, and gives you a natural glow.

  • Coconut oil is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and a great moisturizer. So there is no need to moisturise your skin afterwards.

  • Vitamin E protects against sun damage and boosts healthy growth of new skin cells.

  • Olive oil is high in antioxidants and is incredibly hydrating. it also contains Vitamin E.

  • Bicarbonate of soda helps clear and open up pores. It also absorbs any excess oils, preventing clogging of pores.

  • Rosewater helps maintain the skin’s natural pH balance and has anti-inflammatory properties.

DIY sugar body scrub:

Base:

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (solidified but soft)

Optional additions:

  • 5 drops of your favourite pure essential oil (we like rose or lavender oil)

  • 1-2 teabags of rooibos, green tea or chamomile (these are all very healthy for the skin)

  • 1 tbsp of vitamin E/olive oil

4. Start a new healthy habit

With the weather changing, so can you (for the better, of course). Adopt some healthy habits that will allow you to take full advantage of the warmer, longer days.

  • Set your alarm to wake up earlier every day

  • Start your day off in a positive way by having your breakfast outside

  • Meditate

  • Go for a morning walk/run

  • Relax with a hot cup of tea before getting done for the day

  • Or anything that allows you to do you.

This allows you to start your day off with taking time out for yourself and focusing on your wellbeing. Leaving you in a great mood to take on the rest of the day.

5. Eat seasonally

Comfort foods are necessary all year-round. Eliminating comfort food is simply not sustainable as it’s good to indulge from time to time to develop a balanced diet and not restrict yourself. However, spring is the perfect time to stock up on seasonal fruits and vegetables to add to your meals and snacks to make it wholesome and nutritious. Seasonal fruits and vegetables are tastier and often cheaper. It also retains more nutrients than non-seasonal fruit and vegetables. Here is a link which lists South Africa’s seasonal fruits and vegetables: http://www.leadsa.co.za/articles/7258/seasonal-fruit-and-vegetables-in-south-africa.

6. Stay hydrated

The most important benefit to drinking water is that it cleans your body as your kidneys require water to flush out wastes which prevent infections. Drinking water, instead of fizzy drinks, quenches your thirst without the excess sugar, aiding with safe and healthy weight loss. Furthermore, staying hydrated keeps your skin moist and elastic, decreasing your chance of having dry, irritated skin. It also allows for healthy brain function and body regulation. Not a fan of drinking water? Add fruit to your water to make it flavourful, such as oranges/lemon slices and strawberries. You could also try making a homemade iced tea to drink as a water substitute. Make one litre of hot rooibos tea using four to six teabags, add some lemon and mint leaves. Leave it out to cool. Once cooled, store in the fridge. Pour into a smaller bottle as needed and carry the smaller bottle with you to sip on throughout the day.