So, 2 things close to my heart as I find myself talking about them to clients on a daily basis!
Firstly, Stretching. I cannot stress enough how this will help you and your body. Even if you don’t exercise (we’ll get to that telling off in a minute), then a daily stretch will make your body work and feel much better.
Our bodies like to work in certain ways, get into certain daily patterns – some good and some not so. If we can “undo’ these patterns daily to reset our bodies for anther physical onslaught then surely that’s a good thing?
Think about tasks you do on a daily basis, especially the repetitive ones. How is your body moving? Is it locked in certain positions?
I’m guessing the answer is yes?!
Now, it’s not always possible to stop what you’re doing and stretch your body out for an ideal 5/10 mins.
What I suggest is a lie down whilst watching the tv in the evening (your box set will thank you for the commitment). 15 minutes of holding stretches for 30 seconds each will loosen muscles, get lactic acid moving and will help you to tune in to what your body needs.
Gentle stretching is enough but daily is the key.
Now, to stretching after exercise (I did promise the telling off) should be for a third of the time you exert yourself.
Yes, that’s correct! Now, I understand that this isn’t always possible but at least you have a goal to work towards!
The lactic acid that you produce whilst exerting your muscles will just sit there if you don’t stretch. This then causes the muscle fibres to stick together and produce a knot or very tight muscles. Not a good thing!
Also, if you are having regular massage then daily stretching will absolutely help in between appointments to keep those muscles loose!
So people - stretch! Get down on the floor once a day (more if you’re exercising) and just do it!
Here's a pic to remind you of some of the basics:
Now, onto Sunscreen.
I’ve mentioned this brand before but as a reminder (and because I cant find a better one for the price), I shall let you know again that my go to is Ultrasun.
It doesn’t clog, doesn’t smell of anything and is very lightweight. You can also get it in M & S! Its not organic but it contains no nasties so is kinder to skin than a lot of brands out there.
They do a separate face range in SPF 30 or 50, one for sensitive skin (this is my preference), and one for pigmentation. Its also once a day so easy to apply after moisturiser (before your make up), in the morning.
Their body range is also very good for the whole family.
Get it on every day please! I’ve been using mine throughout the winter months but definately start now if you haven’t already.
So, thanks for reading. I hope it’s been useful and not too pushy!
I’ll be writing again next month as I have a new face care brand to trial for you.
As most of you know, I am wedded to Neals Yard but I am investigating The Ordinary in the name of anti ageing! I will be back next month with my findings.
Enjoy the sun. Claire.
What is M.M.M. I hear you ask?! Read on readers……….
Tight muscles – what are they? I'm always asked this question so here goes:
Each muscle is made up of muscle fibres that are supposed to flow freely like strings of spaghetti. Sometimes, waste material (excess salts, lactic acid, alcohol) get into the fibres and stick them together – thus forming a ‘knot’. Or technical jargon alert: a fibrous adhesion.
Now, knots are knot your friends (sorry, couldn't help myself)!!!
For a number of reasons:
So, when you have a massage and those knots are broken down the waste material is effectively being distributed back into your body. Luckily your body is pretty good at getting rid of this but drinking lots of water helps to flush things through a bit quicker.
Stretching can help with the general flexibility of your body but nothing will break down a knot like the action of a good massage. A massage will help to unstick the muscle fibres and eliminate knots!
Onto my new fave massage product:
Neals Yard Arnica Salve..................
Rub this into weary muscles as part of a massage and feel the benefits of arnica penetrate into your body. It's great stuff – I use it a lot on my clients especially on those tight trapezius muscles!
This is safe to use during pregnancy so it's also great for those who are body weary simply from growing a person!
So, keep those knots at bay people! Hydration is key so keep up with the good water habits. Also, stretching after exercise will help to shift lactic acid build up.
And always live by the rule of M.M.M.
Monthly Maintenance Massage!
Waking up to a slightly puffy and tired face (thanks Christmas for your excessive nature!), I went straight to the fridge and reached for………..my jade facial roller! Jade is a brilliantly cold stone anyway but keep it in the fridge and POW your face is very grateful!
This is mine:
It may look like an instrument for torture but no; this is my face saving tool!
Now, you can buy cheap from eBay or Amazon - quite good to see if you actually like it/use it, but they do have a tendency to be quite fragile!
I purchased mine from www.cultbeauty.co.uk and it was around £30 but has lasted well so far. Jade facial rollers have been around for centuries and have always been used for this purpose. So it must be a good thing!
The key is to work up and out from the centre of the face at a soothing speed and very gently. This action defies gravity and moves lymph (the fluid that gets stuck and makes you look puffy), in the right direction. It also helps boost circulation and improve elasticity. A win win situation!
I try to use my roller on a daily basis and it definitely helps with toning the face and that elusive under eye area. Even if you don't keep it in the fridge it's properties mean it stays cool - perfect if you keep it for your bedtime face regime. Reading your book and rollering your face in a relaxing fashion - what's not to like?!
The product I like to combine with this is my favourite; the one and only Neals Yard Rose Balm:
It really is the stuff of Gods, especially in these harsh winter months. Slather it on, roller it in and wait for it to do its magic. Use a hot muslin cloth to remove or let it soak in overnight if your skin is very dry. Ta-dah!
When I'm massaging faces on a daily basis I can see how much the facial muscles need to be worked - like any other muscle group in the body. Stimulating muscle and moving stuck lymphatic fluid is the key to a more toned face. Clients often say that they feel their facial muscles feel lighter (and look tighter!), to touch after a facial. My organic facial includes 15-20 minutes of facial massage and my FaceWork has almost 40 minutes for the natural facelift vibe!
So, that's my hot (well, cold!), tip to start off the year – your face will be pleased!
Happy New Year. Claire