Sometimes striking a balance between keeping yourself in optimum condition, whilst managing a full time job and other life pressures, can be tricky. There never seems to be enough time to do everything that you want to, and all too often the effects of taking shortcuts can reveal themselves in your appearance and general wellbeing.
With the warmer months on the horizon, there is no better time to take steps to 'spring clean your lifestyle'. To help you do this, some of the leading names in the lifestyle industry have come together to provide a list of top tips on the best ways to boost both your health and confidence - with minimal effort!
- Muffin Top
Skipping breakfast before work and eating unhealthy desk snacks can be a big issue for many as temptation often proves all too much when you are knee deep in paperwork. However, with Tasty Little Numbers, it is now possible to minimise your muffin top without giving up your favourite treats.
Jo Beach, Entrepreneur and founder of Tasty Little Numbers comments: "Portion control is king; it is important to allow yourself a bit of what you fancy to prevent overindulging on fatty foods to compensate for going without. At only 100 calories a pop, the new gluten-free 100 Calorie Chocolate Biscuit Bars are the perfect office based snack, and with three different flavours, there is something to suit everyone.
"Food swaps are also a great way to cut the calories, yet without feeling like you're depriving your body or going without. Some days there is just no time to sit & eat a cooked breakfast and a sugary cereal - although often a tempting option when you're in a hurry - does little to nourish your body. "My failsafe 60-second food swap is: 1 banana, 1 cored apple, 1 scoop of protein powder, 1 scoop of flaxseeds and 200ml of water - it takes me 20 seconds to prepare, 20 seconds to whizz to a pulp in my NutriBullet and 20 seconds to drink it. I feel super-nourished with carbs, protein and good fats in no time at all!"
- Dry Hair
The daily wear and tear from hair dryers and straighteners can wreak havoc on our hair - drying it out and being a main cause of split ends. You don't have to sacrifice your favourite electricals, but choosing your products wisely, is crucial.
Renowned haircare guru Nicky Clarke gives the lowdown: "During the spring and summer months your hair is more prone to drying out and developing the dreaded frizzy look. Go for products with ionic and tourmaline technology, like the Nicky Clarke Hair Therapy range.
This provides a source of negative ions and far infrared rays - locking the moisture in your hair and keeping it sleek and shiny. Tourmaline is a mineral that aids in hair smoothing and unlike more old fashioned tools, helps to seal in hair's natural moisture - preventing high levels of heat damage caused by most styling tools".
- Bad Breath
Smoking is a key cause of bad breath which can linger for hours and aside from the wider health implications, the habit is also linked to gum disease. The most immediate way that cigarettes cause bad breath is by leaving smoke particles in the throat and lungs. The chemicals in tobacco also linger in the mouth for hours and lead to the stale scent associated with smoker's breath. In addition, smoking irritates your gums and can increase your risk of developing gum disease, which is a major cause of halitosis (bad breath).
Michel Bracke, CEO of Nicoccino comments: "Nicoccino can help conquer bad breath and is discreet enough to be used anywhere, anytime. The leaf-thin film slides under the gum and allows the user an immediate nicotine sensation - equivalent to one cigarette. The product offers smokeless satisfaction and it will not stain your teeth or nails, or leave an unpleasant odour".
- Yellow Stained Teeth
There are certain foods and beverages which you should avoid if you are trying to maintain a pearly white smile. Tea and coffee in particular might provide the perfect pick me up, but these hot drinks are notorious for discolouring our teeth.
Dr Sameer Patel, Clinical Director at dentist to the stars, elleven says: "Tea and coffee stains between the teeth and if it is drunk regularly, the tannin compounds that cause the discolouration continue to build up. The best way to avoid this is to rinse the mouth thoroughly with water after consumption, to wash away residue left on the teeth.
"As a general rule, the more intense the colour of food and drink, the more potential there is for staining. The colour comes from chromogens - intensely pigmented molecules with a tendency to latch onto dental enamel. Acidic food and drink are especially harmful as they not only erode the dental enamel, they also temporarily soften teeth which make them more prone to staining. Watch out for coffee and fruit juices".
- Varicose Veins
From weight gain to blood clots, from varicose veins to poor posture, sitting for long periods of time in a sedentary desk job can be linked to a host of undesirable health problems. Varicose veins is a condition which affects up to 30% of the UK population during their adult lives, however keeping mobile around the office can make a world of difference.
Consultant Vascular Surgeon and Founder of The Whiteley Clinic, Professor Mark Whiteley says: "Sitting at an office desk for hours on end is a common part of our day. When you sit for extended periods of time, the muscles in your legs that normally help pump blood aren't used very much. As a result, in patients with varicose veins or 'hidden varicose veins', the blood falls backwards down the leg veins. The blood can then pool in the lower leg, increasing swelling, skin damage and the risks of visible varicose veins.
"To keep your leg muscles in working form, every half an hour stand up and pump your calves by rising onto your toes repeatedly for 60 seconds. However if you already have visible varicose veins, then these need to be treated first with the new endovenous techniques."