Feel like your body needs a spring cleanse? Here’s how to give yourself a healthy kick-start for the new season
As we ride out winter, you can be forgiven for feeling a little jaded and sluggish. Let’s face it, after all the festive excesses of mince pies, mulled wine, chocolates and cake, most of us will have took to the sofa for a couple of months of hibernation and TV watching. So, you might be ready for a body overhaul, a spring cleanse shall we say, especially if your waistline is feeling a little tighter.
Medically, your body is detoxifying itself constantly, with your liver and kidneys working hard to take the bad things out of your system, from things such as alcohol, food and other pollutants. But there are a few small changes you can do to help your body do this even more effectively.
1. Ditch the drink
Giving up alcohol for a few weeks is a good way to give your liver a rest, especially if you’ve been indulging a little too much of late. Cutting out alcohol, not only has health benefits but is great for you skin too and will make your eyes appear brighter.
2. Let life give you lemons
Swap your tea and coffee for water for a few weeks to allow the caffeine to leave your system and give your body a break. Drinking water regularly will help flush out your system and keep you hydrated so you’re less likely to reach for snacks during the day. Adding a slice of lemon to warm water in the morning also offers a good booster to start your day.
As Penny Holland, from Stone spa Moddershall Oaks recommends: “The antioxidants found in vitamin C do double duty in lemon water, as the natural acidity mimics digestive juices found in the stomach, tricking the liver into producing bile which keeps food moving through the body more smoothly.”
She adds that getting enough vitamin C from your lemon water keeps the body producing collagen, which can reduce symptoms of facial puffiness caused by excessive alcohol consumption, late nights, and a high sugar diet.
3. Go vegan
Eating vegan and plant-based meals can offer many detoxifying benefits to both health and looks. Cutting out meat and dairy and eating healthy meals such as vegetable miso soup or a green smoothie containing leafy veg, can be good for your health. Remember to add in plenty of nuts and seeds as snacks, and who knows, it might lead to you changing your diet full-time.
4. Start feeling juicy
Giving your liver a rest with a juice or smoothie-only diet is a great way to help your body out – but you don’t need to do it for long. Harley nutritionist Rosemary Ferguson recommends a liquid fast for a maximum of three days to help support the liver. This would involve having only juice, smoothies and healthy soups.
5. Bust the stress
Eliminating unhealthy foods, caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes are the top recommendations for a detox, but what about getting rid of stress too? Too much worrying can have as much of a negative effect as the things we put into our bodies.
Stafford yoga instructor Claudia Brown says yoga is a good stress buster: “Benefits are general increased flexibility, increased muscle strength and tone, improved respiration/breathing capacity, improved circulatory health, improved athletic performance and prevention for injury, improved range of motion in the joints, improved spinal flexibility, improved bone health, increased blood flow, can help to lower stress levels and anxiety, improve the quality of your sleep and boost your immune system.”
6. Face facts
Booking a facial is a great way to give your skin a boost. There are lots of different types to choose from and usually a skin consultation so you can get some top recommendations of how to look after your skin afterwards.
7. Put your best foot forward
Getting out in the fresh air and going for a walk will do your body wonders and is a great addition to your spring cleanse. A brisk 10-minute walk every day has lots of health benefits. It’s a great way to help yourself, plus the fresh air will also give you a boost and the exercise will help you feel more tired, aiding a good night’s sleep, which in turn will help you feel better and look great. Bonus!