With the Festive Season and its excesses well behind us it’s time to focus on the New Year ahead by looking at simple ways to help us look good and feel great. So what are your New Year Resolutions? Well, the 20th century poet and pacifist Edith Lovejoy Pierce famously said of the year ahead…. “We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”
I love that thought and my New Year resolution is to take the opportunity to continue keeping both mentally and physically fit. I recognize all too well that this is the best opportunity I have to help myself stay independent in my older age! But as the years slip by I also realize that it’s not always easy with my busy lifestyle to stick to my New Year resolution of routines and regimes. I am for ever on the road travelling with my work, or visiting my family who are “up North” and “down South”, and I’m often working on cruise ships or abroad.
So I have to integrate my physical activities and watch what I eat, wherever I am. Consequently I need to be disciplined to take the opportunity of helping myself keep fit anytime, anywhere, and it can prove difficult. There are always temptations that send us off track or crack our good intentions, and in my case my willpower can be cracked and I can be sent off track when I am faced with the temptations of dark chocolate or a glass of Champagne!
So to help me keep well and to I ensure I have the necessary RDA (recommended daily allowance) of vitamins and minerals, whenever possible I take the opportunity to eat a varied and well-balanced diet. This includes more of the 3 F’s….fresh food, fish plus fruit and vegetables, and less of the 3 S’s.…salt, sugar and saturated fats. Should I not be able to eat my varied diet to boost my wellbeing, because of constantly being on the road, I’ll include a daily supplement such as a multivitamin tablet to help keep my skin, hair, teeth and nails in good condition.
Every day I take 2 Calcium plus vitamin D tablets, to help maintain my strong bones and prevent the fragile bone disease osteoporosis. The fact is that 2 women and 1 in 5 men over the age of 50 will break a bone as a result of poor bone health. Many people of my age also take glucosamine to help their joints keep moving!
This year my simple New Year resolutions include
Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to help ward off colds and flu. “Juicing” the fruits and vegetables makes a pleasant and palatable alternative, ensuring a high intake of protective vitamins. Give your immune system an extra boost, by taking Echinacea in tincture form diluted in water, or a daily capsule.
Winter skin exposed to wind, cold, UV radiation and the effects of central heating results in skin dehydration and loss of softness and flexibility. So it’s time to replenish and pamper! I massage my body daily with a generous helping of moisturising skin cream, and exfoliate once a week with a body salt scrub.
• Hands and Feet
Skin on our hands and feet become especially dry and vulnerable in winter, leading to irritation, sores and redness. I keep my skin supple and healthy by preventing water and lipids escaping (which causes chapping) by using lots of nourishing hand cream rich in Vitamin A.
Our lips are particularly prone to dryness, and more so as we age. Delicate thin, chapped skin is no barrier to bacteria and viruses. Rough, flaky, dry lips look old, and are difficult to make up. So I apply a nourishing lip protection, either on its own or under my lipstick.
It’s essential to keep active, and even though it is cold outside we should all aim to take a brisk half-hour walk, 3 times a week. I like to swim, cycle, jog, or garden whenever possible, and find that being active makes my body and complexion glow.
My final New Year resolution is to contact that old friend, neighbour or family member I’ve been meaning to catch up with for the past year! Maybe you too could take the opportunity to visit someone less fortunate than yourself, or in poor health? If you do, make sure to give them a big smile, it’ll cost you nothing. But your smile could make New Year 2015 feel a whole lot richer for them!