Health Spring is Properly Here! September 23, 2014 Flowers are blooming, the sun is shining and there they go… Those bothersome Winter Blues are finally outta’ here! Spring is the perfect time for us to take stock of our overall well-being. And for many of us it means taking a good look at some of our (often questionable) health habits. Here are a few thoughts to bear in mind as you consider ridding yourself of a few unwanted Winter kilos and preparing your body for the fast-approaching festive season: #1) Drink water – every day! It ensures optimal celIular function. It flushes out toxins. It helps control your appetite. Research has proven that water does wonders for every system in your body. But many people just can’t get themselves to drink water. No matter how hard they try, they just can’t get used to the taste – especially when it comes straight from the tap. The great news is that, through the use of a good water filter, municipal water can be transformed into a much safer, healthier, and better (possibly even sweeter) tasting liquid. So before you knock water, get yourself an in-home water filtration system. It’s one of the healthiest, most cost-effective ways to promote healthy living. And if you’re not used to drinking water, don’t immediately attempt to drink the “prerequisite” eight glasses per day. Start slow and build up your daily quota, bearing in mind that the eight glass rule is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Your required quota depends on a few factors, such as your gender, age, weight, height, activity level and the climate that you live in. #2) Avoid soft-drinks – especially the diet, sugar-free types Sometimes there’s nothing more refreshing than an ice-cold soft-drink on a warm day. Opting for a sugar-free version may make you feel a little less guilty, but did you know that non-nutritive sweeteners can actually make you gain weight? Basically, when you eat something sweet, without the calories, your body feels short-changed. You start to crave real sugar or carbohydrates, which actually leads to higher food intake than if you drank a non-“diet” drink. There are also some non-nutritive sweeteners that have been linked to certain types of cancers in life-long tests done with rats. While we don’t condone animal testing in any form, the facts are pretty convincing. Our good friend Dr Mercola can tell you more #3) Don’t just dive into detoxes or diets Opinions are somewhat mixed when it comes to detox. Some say it’s not necessary, as your system is constantly detoxing itself anyway – and that going through a detox programme can be downright dangerous. Others swear by their detox regimes, saying that it makes them look and feel great, and that they feel completely energised afterwards. The same can be said for diets. If a diet cannot sustain the proper functioning of your system over a long term, it probably isn’t very good for you short-term either. Before trying any new programme, whether it’s a short term detox or a longer-term eating plan, do your own research and check with a qualified nutritionist or your general healthcare practitioner. #4) Give your body the support it needs Should you choose to embark on any form of detox, diet or new excercise regime this Spring, ensure that you stay well hydrated throughout the process to assist your body in maintaining its various internal balances. Dehydration can lead to headaches, dizziness and nausea. These are also common side-effects experienced during detox. Ensure that you eliminate dehydration as a possible cause, so any other causes may be more easily identified. #5) Take control over seasonal allergies Spring isn’t the happiest season for everyone – especially those whose allergies are heightened by environmental changes. The problem with allergies is that your immune-compromised system identifies “allergens” as a threat to your body. Your “misinformed” body launches an inflammatory attack on an otherwise safe environmental trigger, resulting in symptoms that range from mild to severe – even life-threatening. We have a great range of air purifiers that help reduce indoor pollution (great for Winter) and then reduce Spring related allergies, like pollen. #6) Get fit There’s a common misperception among those who don’t work out that fitness is for people with lots of free time on their hands. The truth is that most people make time to exercise – whether it’s first thing in the morning, during their lunch break or after school or work, 30 minutes per day is all it takes to stay moderately fit. 30 minutes is all you need to experience significant health benefits – including improved mood! Fortunately, the warmer weather brings with it longer days, which means more time to enjoy outdoor sporting activities – or even a walk on the beach. There really is no good excuse to not exercise, unless a medical condition specifically prohibits it. When exercising, always use the correct protective equipment and ensure to keep your personal water bottle (filled with delicious H2O filtered water of course!) close at hand. What are your challenges, joys and concerns for the coming summer. How can we help you? Leave your comments below.