10 Tips for Transitioning from Winter to Spring

In just two short weeks, winter will be a distant, chilly memory, and we’ll be able to embrace the early mornings and warm sunshine that SA is so famous for! If you feel the pillowy effects of hibernating a little more than anticipated, here are some of my tips to shrug off the chillier season.

ScreenHunter_1364 Aug. 19 13.12Detox
Let go of bad winter habits with a nutrient-rich cleanse. Our bodies naturally preserve more energy in the cold, and with lower activity levels this can mean more fat storage. Skip the caffeine, wheat, refined foods, sugar, salt, red meat and fizzy drinks. In addition to prepping your body for summer exposure, you’re going to boost your energy levels exponentially too.

Eat your greens
Whilst this should be the norm year round, chances are you’ve been leaning towards denser, warmer foods to get you through winter. Since spring demands a boost in energy, boost your diet accordingly with more dark, leafy greens for concentrated vitamins K, C, E and many B vitamins, and minerals. Funny how warmer weather lets us encourage colder foods! Say yes to the return of fresh, nutrient-dense salads; a favourite tip of mine is to juice your vegetables for a powerhouse of nutrients in one cup.

Cut out (or realistically – down) the night cap
Many of us are privy to a glass of wine or two before bed. If this is you, reconsider your habits as spring approaches by reducing your intake or saving it for the weekend.  In can contribute significantly to sleep deprivation and dehydration – two things you don’t want to be tackling in spring.

ScreenHunter_1365 Aug. 19 13.13Eat in season
The foods that are fresh and in season are the ones you should be eating for maximum benefit in each season. If it flourishes in spring, it should be included in your spring diet. It’s hard to be a veggie expert and be selective at the supermarket when everything is on offer – hit your local farmer’s market, where the fresh produce is rightly limited to what Mother Nature has on offer this season.

Turn in early
If you’ve been doing all your socializing at night, make an effort to swap dinner dates for lunches and even an early morning workout. Making sure your nights are freed up for earlier dinners, down time and an earlier bed time is great for preparing for the early morning wakeups of spring and summer.

Drink up
Hydration is no less important in the chillier season, yet many of us drink far less water than necessary in winter months. With hotter weather on the way, hydration is a must: make sure you are meeting your minimum needs of 250mls water for every 10kgs of body weight, replenishing your body and skin for spring.

ScreenHunter_1366 Aug. 19 13.14Wake up to natural light
Sunlight is a powerful natural signal that can shift your circadian rhythms from drowsy to alert, whether you’re sleep-deprived or not. Skip the block out curtains and wake up to natural light, and you’ll rise more easily with the onset of spring.

 

Boost your brain and body first thing in the morning
Shake your body out of sluggish winter sleep and get moving as you wake up. A brisk walk will do the trick, but if that’s too much to ask so early on in the day, practice inverted yoga poses like the ‘downward dog’, or even some light stretching and jumping jacks. A pleasant alternative is to invest in a mini-rebounder for 5 minutes of bouncing each morning. This will wake up both body and mind, kick-start your metabolism and awaken your body before eating – it is such an underrated activity!

ScreenHunter_1363 Aug. 19 13.08Warm up to the outdoors
For many of us, winter means too much time indoors, not enough vitamin D and lower energy levels. Make the most of the warmer weather – before it gets too hot – and step outside as often as you can. A ten minute walk between 11am-3.30pm is all it takes to replenish precious vitamin D levels – calibrating your mood and energy accordingly.

Get intense. Very often, spring sneaks up on you, leaving you with less time than you thought to get fit. If that’s the case, make every workout count. Switch to compound exercises over isolated ones to torch more calories during strength workouts. Shake up a steady-state cardio routine with interval training, and include bursts of 1-minute sprints followed by 3-minute recoveries help you burn fat rather than carbohydrates – your precious energy supplies. This type of HIIT training – in both cardio and strength – is known for getting the fastest results in the shortest space of time.

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Body Types in a Nutshell

ScreenHunter_1318 Aug. 12 16.52We all have that skinny friend – you know the one! She demolishes man-size pizzas with ease and considers walking to the car as her daily exercise, yet she still manages to look like a supermodel prepped for New York fashion week! On the other hand, you get individuals who gym daily, have eyes only for chicken and broccoli and still battle to stay in shape. What gives? Genes, for a start. Our bodies are built differently, and respond differently to the type of food and exercise we choose. Blame it on our individuality – but one diet and training programme just don’t work across the board. Continue reading

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My Thoughts on the ‘Dad Bod’!

ScreenHunter_1262 Jul. 28 14.19Popularity is still on the increase for the newly appreciated ‘Dad Bod’. While some men are embracing health and fitness to higher degrees than ever before, others are earning a celebration of sorts for being, quite frankly, ‘average’.

Defining the ‘Dad Bod’
The New York Times went so far as to quantify this ‘Dad Bod’, stating it as an extra 5 kilograms of weight, an extra two inches of width around the waist, and a belly that sticks out an extra half inch. Continue reading

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One of My Go-To’s: Courgette & Lentil Fritters

ScreenHunter_1163 Jul. 07 14.21This scrumptious recipe from the Brookdale recipe book is one of my favourites for a number of reasons. It’s healthy (of course), easy to make, DELICIOUS (I am a sucker for any kind of a fritter!) and freezes easily for perfect bulk preparation.

Courgette & Lentil Fritters
With a garlic and mint yoghurt dressing Continue reading

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Exercising at the Office: NO excuse for the 9-5ers!

ScreenHunter_1139 Jun. 30 12.33Do you feel like you are missing out on the opportunity to get fit because you are office-bound? I´m here to tell you that there are officially no more excuses left in the book for not making your health a priority! Corporate Wellness Week runs from 1 – 5 July, which means it’s time for me to tell you just how possible exercise in the office can be. Below are some useful tips for the nine-to-fivers to allow you the opportunity for an active and healthy lifestyle. Continue reading

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SA Celeb BRITA Water Challenge Results!

So a little while ago, I told you I was teaming up with BRITA to show you some of the ways we can work to keep our bodies hydrated – especially in Winter! I weighed in with two of SA’s celebs – Roxy Burger and Elana Afrika – to see how their water intake fared during their BRITA water challenge! Here’s my verdict: Continue reading

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Prepping your Body for Winter – Part Three

ScreenHunter_984 Jun. 02 13.47Whilst eating inflammatory foods can lower our immune systems and leave us vulnerable in the chilly months, it’s worth noting that this is something to consider year-round. Inflammation is said to be behind almost every chronic disease in the body, and lowering it should be high on our list of dietary priorities. Continue reading

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