Your ultimate wellness guide for the body, mind and beauty routine

Your ultimate wellness guide for the body, mind and beauty routine
Tips on how to keep the year of 'me'.
Tips on how to keep the year of 'me'.
Photo: Getty Images

If this is indeed your year of ‘me’, start adopting some of these routines and trends to boost your well-being.

For your body

Restoration. Whether it’s boxing or aerobics, exercise can take a toll on your muscles. If you work out hard, you need to make sure you’re committed to a post-workout recovery strategy. This needs to be more than just taking a day off or resting on the couch.

Post-workout restorative practices include rehydration with healthy beverages such as coconut water instead of sugary sports drinks and foam-rolling, which helps stimulate blood flow and loosen muscle tissues.

Prevention rather than healing. Health screenings and counselling can help ensure that you’re able to ward off major illnesses or manage them before they become hugely impactful. Results from gene testing can reveal your risk of developing certain diseases such as cancer and enable you to take preventative measures.

Smart machines. Technological advances mean that treadmills and elliptical trainers are savvier than ever before. Whether they have built-in screens that allow you to stream classes live or come with apps that monitor your heart rate and body-fat percentage, they’re a combination of machinery and personal training designed to meet your specific needs. Use them to your advantage.

Sound healing. The instruments may vary from handbells to gongs and singing bowls, but whether you’re at Healing Sounds in Cape Town or the EQ Wellbeing Centre in Johannesburg, sound therapy can be an integral part of your wellness rituals.

Used for healing and meditation purposes, all you need is to arrive at the venue and then open your ears and spirit.

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Personalised healthcare. Companies such as DNAlysis and EasyDNA are local pioneers in the field of medical genetics. Practitioners work with clients to help formulate treatment plans that don’t rely on trial and error.

Rather than prescribing medication and waiting to see if it’s effective, medical genetics aims to narrow down options by ascertaining which medical intervention is best suited to the genetics of a specific patient.

Wellness at work

Breathing apps. You may not always be able to drive out of the office to cool down after a heated exchange. However, breathing apps can help you reach a calmer state right from your desk. Connect your headphones and follow the prompts on apps like Prana Breath or Breathing Zone.

Augmented reality. Tight household and company budgets mean the annual team-building getaway or family Easter break are on hold. You can, however, still dream and take virtual escapes through apps like Lonely Planet’s AR Guide on cities such as Paris, Miami and Bangkok. Also try the flyover mode in Apple Maps which enables you to zoom over a city, getting a bird’s eye view of the place.

Flexi-time. Inner city congestion, load-shedding and a host of other environmental factors mean that corporates are increasingly needing to accommodate personalised work hours. Whether you prefer mornings at the office and afternoons at home, or working a 06:00 to 15:00 day, shape work to accommodate your life and its unique needs. Instead of working longer to avoid sitting in traffic, you can free up time to work on your hobbies or spend time at the gym.

Remote working. In some offices, it may not be feasible to have a full-time home office but remote working can also mean sitting at the cafeteria if you need a change of scenery. Figure out what sort of environments are most conducive for certain times of the day or for particular tasks, and then as regularly as is viable, get away from your desk.

Home as a sanctuary

Meal-delivery services. There was a time where if you wanted a pizza, you’d first have to find the Mr. Delivery pamphlet to see what you could order and their telephone number! But now, you can order restaurant-quality meals with ease, and eat them in the comfort of your own home. Whether it’s gourmet burgers for a movie night in or risotto for a night of pampering with your loved one, meal delivery apps like Uber Eats and Orderin are super handy.

Virtual access. Need a life coach, or want to learn how to practice reflexology? There’s probably an app, website and video for exactly what you need. Whether it’s signing up for an online course or watching clips of your favourite spiritual teachers, selfcare can be just a click away.

Alcohol-free drinks. Drinking at home may mean you’re less at risk of getting a ticket from traffic officers. But there’s still the likelihood of an intense hangover the following morning. Rather try alcohol-free drinks for all the fun and taste, and none of the drama. With some local options containing zero or less than four percent alcohol, you can happily and safely say, ‘cheers’!

Food for life

Plant-based options. More and more restaurants are offering delicious meat and dairy-free dishes, while grocery stores are stocking increasing amounts of deli meals labelled vegan or plant-based. This makes it easy for you to make healthy food choices this year.

Healthy snacking. If you’re not the type to make your own protein bomb, healthy snacking has gone commercial and you’re likely to find a manufacturer who’s done the work for you. Ditch the salty bag of chips and preservative-laden bar of chocolate for healthier bites such as probiotic-rich bars and raw cold-pressed juices.

Dairy alternatives. They may not come in bottles of amasi, just yet, but South Africa’s grocery shops have a variety of non-dairy alternatives on offer. If you love to have a morning coffee as part of your waking-up ritual or to have a Sunday afternoon bake fest, consider using dairy-free options such as rice, coconut, soya or almond milk.

New flours. Watching your calorie or carb intake doesn’t have to mean foregoing oven-baked treats. Instead of regular wheat or cake flour, start experimenting with, and enjoying the flavours of varieties such as cauliflower, chickpea and banana flours.

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True beauty

Nature-infused skincare. Coconut is a wonderful ingredient to include in your beauty regimen whether it’s for hair or face mask. But nature’s making a bigger impact with other plants, fruits and vegetables in the form of creams and serums. Look for products with kale, spirulina and cannabidiol to include in your at-home-spa and beauty sessions.

Vitamin C as the hero. Hailed for effectively dealing with dark spots, uneven skin tone, wrinkles and sun damage, Vitamin C serums are becoming a beauty cupboard staple for many people out there. Make sure you’re including a serum in your weekly skincare routine.

Vegan variety. Products that are not tested on animals or include animal parts such as gelatin, tallow or squalene are growing in quantity. From mascara to lipsticks and serums, you can now choose cosmetics that are kind to your skin and not cruel to animals.

Probiotics to the rescue. We know about the importance of taking probiotics to boost gut health but did you know that you can also have the same approach to skincare?

Probiotic-infused skincare, which leaves the good bacteria on your skin, should feature on your self-care product list. Products containing probiotics can help with repairing stressed skin, reducing signs to ageing and stimulating skin renewal.

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