Have you got any New Year’s resolutions in mind for 2018?
The start of a new year is a popular time to re-evaluate our lives and make changes to our lifestyle, but it takes determination to achieve our goals. The most common resolutions tend to revolve around health and fitness – here are a few ideas that might help you to stay motivated and on track!
Resolution 1: Get fitter
Whether you’re planning to join the January gym rush, take up swimming or jogging, join a bootcamp or bust some moves at Zumba, if you’re an exercise newbie you are going to ache. To soothe sore muscles, and to give you something to look forward to at the end of each workout, treat yourself to a hot bath. Let’s call it Heat Therapy – warm temperatures really can help to increase blood flow to sore muscles and a copper bath helps keep the water warmer for longer!
Alternatively, if you’re feeling brave, a cold shower can help with muscle damage. Admittedly it’s not as much fun as luxuriating in a warm bath, but it’s nothing if not invigorating!
It’s a great excuse to invest in some new bath products, too – there are plenty of options designed to relieve tired, stiff muscles, from traditional Epsom salts to more complex remedies.
Resolution 2: Eat more healthily
Changing one’s diet for the better is another common New Year’s resolution. Depending on the goal you set yourself, it can mean anything from cutting down on takeaways (put the money you save into a ‘holiday jar’ and watch it mount up!) to taking part in ‘Veganuary’ (going vegan for the month of January). Even if you have no intention of pursuing veganism in the longer term, a meat-free, dairy-free month can be a great way to kickstart your healthy eating programme and give you some menu inspiration. You might find it more straightforward than you think – a lot of Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Middle Eastern dishes are vegan (or can easily be made vegan), so you don’t need to feel like you’re missing out. For lots of useful information about Veganuary, click here.
Resolution 3: Improve personal wellbeing
It’s all-too easy to neglect our mental wellbeing, and yet it is just as important to our overall health as exercise and diet. Spending time with friends and family, pursuing a hobby and doing volunteer work can all have a positive impact on our lives. Equally, never feel guilty about factoring some ‘me time’ into your schedule – rest and relaxation might seem self-indulgent, but they can reduce stress levels and increase overall happiness. Which brings us neatly back to the benefits of a lovely warm bath! Why not light a scented candle and turn your bathroom into a spa…
Resolution 4: Switch to green beauty
The popularity of natural skincare and beauty products has rocketed in recent years. The reasons for ditching mainstream products are many and varied: you might have sensitive skin or allergies; maybe you’d like to reduce your impact on the planet; or perhaps you don’t want to support companies who test on animals or use animal-derived ingredients. Labels can be misleading and difficult to decipher, so it’s always best to do your research to make sure the products you choose meet your criteria. An easy way to be sure is to choose a brand that has been certified by a body you trust, such as the Soil Association or COSMOS. If you are vegetarian or vegan, check PETA’s list of animal-derived ingredients – it’s longer than you might expect.
Luckily, there are now plenty of high-performance beauty products that are natural, organic and/or suitable for vegetarians and vegans (just be aware that natural doesn’t necessarily mean vegan, and vice versa!). Here are a few of our favourite (lesser-known) UK-based brands, all of which have a range of certified organic products.
Whether you’re making lots of New Year’s resolutions or none at all, we wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous 2018!