NAMITA JAIN

Plan a few months ahead, so that you look your best on your wedding day

With pre-marriage preparations, it is easy to overstrain the body, overuse stimulants such as coffee and tea, miss breakfast, get inadequate sleep and go through emotional pressures. All this takes a toll on the body and mind.

Instead, take charge and plan these few months ahead so that you look your best on your wedding day. The human body is an absolutely amazing machine. If you put in effort in the right direction you can truly start looking and feeling fantastic.

Make a beginning now by exercising regularly, finding ways to relax and looking after your skin. Head to toe, body and mind — here are four ways to help you take charge!

1. FITTING IN EXERCISE

Exercise will rev up your mood, improve blood circulation and keep you in shape.The key to staying consistent with exercise is to select an exercise programme that isenjoyable - one that fits in with your personality, lifestyle and fitness goals.First, establish your goals. What is it that you would like to gain from your exerciseroutine? Whether your aim is to tone up or lose a few excess pounds - you'll figure thatexercise is not just for the body - it does wonders for the mind!

FORMS OF EXERCISE

Cardiovascular exercise: Cardiovascular exercise burns calories, promotes bloodcirculation and strengthens the heart.

Good choices include walking, swimming and cycling.

Strength training: Weight-bearing exercise plays an important role in maintaining bonedensity and keeping the body strong and well-toned. An effective routine would includeexercises that target the major muscle groups of the upper, mid and lower body.Good choices include weight bearing exercises like push-ups, sit-ups or working out onmachines or exercising using dumbbells or resistance bands.

Flexibility training: Flexibility exercises help maintain good posture, keep the bodysupple and free from muscular stress.

Good choices include yoga, pilates, stretching exercises and tai chi.

2. FIND WAYS TO RELAX

When you are de-stressed and happy it shows. decide to do something that relaxes you andleaves you feeling refreshed.

* Get yourself a relaxing body or footmassage.

* Breathing exercises and pranayama improvelung capacity and calm the body and mind.

* An apple a day, a brisk walk a day, and a goodlaugh a day. don't forget to create a positiveoutlook to life.

3. EAT WHOLESOME FOOD

Eat nutritious foods. Choosewholesome foods instead ofpackaged, refined foods. Becreative in your choices sothat the food you eat is tastyas well as healthy.

A healthy well-balanced dietshould include carbohydrates,proteins, fats and plenty ofwater. Carbohydrates (grains,fruits, vegetables, legumes)must form 55-60 per cent ofyour diet; proteins (milk,eggs, fish, sprouts) 15 per cent; and fats (oils, butter) 25 per cent. Carbohydrates provideenergy, proteins help in repairing tissues; and fat is essential in the absorption of fat solublevitamins A, D, E and K.

Avoid fad diets

Prolonged, unbalanced diets that include only one or two foods, or that eliminate the entirefood groups can lead to severe nutritional deficiencies. What is mainly lost is water andimportant muscle tissue, and unfortunately, health and energy is also lost as the metabolismslows down.

4. TAKE CARE OF YOUR SKIN

Regular exercise,relaxation techniques,adequate water and apositive state of mind areimportant ingredients tokeep the skin lookingbeautiful and glowing.

Hydration is essentialWater keeps the skinlooking fresh and alive. It isone of the most essentialnutrients of the humanbody. The adult body is 60to 75 per cent water. Drinkat least eight to tenglasses of water a day. Also, eat high-water content foods that will keep you well-hydrated.Examples are watermelon, oranges, pineapples, tomatoes, and cucumber.Beware of pollution, sun burn and other irritants.Stay away from smog, dust and harsh sunlight.

Know your skin type

Consult an expert. Based on your skin type you will be recommended products which areright for your skin.

Cleanse, tone and moisturise your skin regularly.

This is a daily three-step process in looking after your skin.

Consider applying face-packs or taking facials.

Make every effort to follow the advice of an expert and take time-out to pamper your skin.

The writer is a certified Clinical Exercise Specialist, Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist.

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