As the weather warms and spring arrives, your calendar is probably filling up fast – which can leave you feeling over-committed and drained. Time for a happiness check-up! Taking time for self-care – including a low-impact fitness routine, quiet time and a healthier diet – can do wonders for how you feel. Here are six ways to make it happen.
1. Give Pilates a Go
This gentle combination of stretching moves and stability exercises can improve your balance, tone your core muscles, improve your posture and even ease back pain. It’s great for both men and women, and low-impact enough to take up at any age. Ask at your local gym or community center to find a class or teacher near you.
Tip: Toss Secret Active Invisible Spray or Old Spice Deodorant Invisible Spray into your gym bag before heading to Pilates class – they go on invisible, dry to reduce white marks, and provide 48 hours of freshness while protecting against odor and sweat.
2. Learn to Meditate
Sitting quietly and meditating – thinking, reflecting and calming your mind – is a great way to build mental strength, de-stress, and deal with your emotions. Plus, anyone can do it! Meditation doesn’t have to take up a lot of your time (unless you want it to), and you can practice it anywhere – try a quiet park bench or wooded trail if you want to get outside. To get started, check out our beginner’s guide, download a meditation app on your smartphone or search for “guided meditation” online.
3. Train Your Body to Be Stronger
Resistance training improves your muscle strength, helps keep your heart healthy and increases your bone density, which helps guard against osteoporosis and brittle bones later in life. It sounds daunting, but “resistance training” basically refers to any exercise that works your muscles until they feel tired, using either hand weights or your own body weight. Book a session with an instructor at your local gym and ask them to show you some beginner’s exercises to practice at home, such as simple arm workouts with dumbbells, half push-ups, lunges and squats.
4. Strengthen Yourself from the Inside Out
Nutritionists recommend “superfoods” – such as whole eggs, oily fish like wild salmon and mackerel, berries, plain yogurt, extra-virginolive oil, red meat, turkey, broccoli, spinach, quinoa, oats, tomatoes, oranges, apples, carrots and nuts – to help build up your physical strength and immune system. Try to include as many of these foods as possible in your diet. Water is also your muscles’ best friend – it helps them work properly and recover from exercise. Drink it regularly throughout the day, and have at least one large glass with every meal.
5. Take Care of Your Appearance
Feeling confident in how you look can make a big difference in the way you feel. Strengthen your skin, hair and nails from the inside with foods rich in iron, magnesium, zinc and antioxidants, such as red meat, almonds, leafy green vegetables, blueberries, oysters and fortified cereals, and talk to your doctor about taking a vitamin D supplement. From the outside, make sure your hair, skin and teeth look their best by choosing the right products. Swap your usual shampoo and conditioner for Pantene Premium Micellar Shampoo and Conditioner. Wash your face daily with Olay Cleansing Infusion Facial Cleanser to draw out impurities, draw in hydration and actually improve your skin’s condition as you wash. Finally, use Crest Gum Detoxify + Whitening Two-Step Toothpaste to neutralize harmful plaque bacteria along the gumline and polish and whiten your teeth.
6. Tackle Challenges One at a Time
Everyday stress can build up and become overwhelming over time. When faced with challenges, break them down into smaller, manageable steps that you can handle more easily. Set reasonable goals – even if that just means getting through the day – and be sure to celebrate when you achieve them. Practice thinking positively, because when you believe good things will happen, you tend to work toward them. But never be afraid to ask for help. True strength comes with acknowledging when you need support – and asking for it.
Feeling strong this spring? Share your strength-boosting secrets with us in the comments section below.