The eagle-eyed amongst you might have spied that I recently took over the @GarnierUK Instagram a couple of weeks ago as part of the fun of joining their team of super inspirational women! Apart from hosting some epic competitions, I was really keen for the takeover to showcase a few different practical tips to help you be the healthiest version of you and reset for spring! As ever, I always try to emphasise small but lasting changes to help clients feel good about themselves, and discuss them all in a little more detail below with my top 12 tips! I’ve also put some thoughtful care into compiling my ‘Custom Recovery Bundles’ which included some awesome Garnier essentials for Hair, Skin, Body & Sun – the lucky winners are announced in the post! Click MORE to see it all
In the video below which I shot with an awesome group of people in gorgeous Queens Park (North West London), I talk a little about how I start my day. I think if you start your day right it underpins everything you do throughout the ensuing 24 hours, and you’re consequently more likely to stay on track. Having said that I massively struggle with early mornings – if you’re like me, read the following tips on how to become more of a morning person! Mine kicks off at 05:30 everyday (aagh!), followed by a training session, the specific scope of which varies constantly. In the video, it’s a run, but can easily be a walk or a spot of gym-time too. Here is a short video with some tips on how to maximise a quick morning workout!
Subsequently, I always have a big, proper breakfast, typically consisting of my Maxi Muesli (recipe here) with a splash of unsweetened almond milk, some fresh berries and some grated dark chocolate!
Not easy? I agree – but there are ways to become more of a morning person: Whilst I’m up at 05:30 every weekday, I think it’s important to declare that I’m not naturally an early riser! My body instinctively wants to stay snuggled under cozy covers and grab heaps of ever-more restorative sleep! But over time, to combat, and eventually conquer this, I’ve found a few tips that got me where I wanted to be:
1) Create a routine (starting the night before)!
- Supposedly we have an internally-calibrated 24h clock (‘the circadian rhythm’) but how we each allocate these hours, differs. Getting to bed at around the same time every night and ensuring you get the much needed 7-8 hours of base sleep makes all the difference. It ensures you wake up rested and ready to go! (more on sleep here)
- Set your alarm at the same time every day! This will mean your body clock will eventually align to this, so that every time it goes off, the incremental level of surprise should feel less dreadful.
2) Don’t leave it last minute
- Allow yourself a good 30 mins of time to get ready, as nobody likes to start the day by stressing, manically, looking for keys, phones, wallets etc. Waking up that little earlier, sacrificing a little more sleep, to ensure you’re appropriately armed to leave home – that’s important for your state of mind for the ensuing day.
3) Natural light
- Allow natural light to shine through your curtain, it’s much nicer if possible to wake up with the sun than pitch black darkness. Alternatively buy a syntetic-sun light alarm, as I’ve found the sensation of gradually waking to artificial sunlight can really lighten the burden!
4) Mental prep
- Whilst under the covers, remind yourself how great you’ll feel once you’re up and ready to tackle the day!
- In many ways, that’s the best part of the day; the beginning which offers so much opportunity and possibility, regardless of how unspectacular the day may eventually turn out to be! Being up early before everyone else, going for a peaceful power walk, for example is a lovely feeling.
- Feel alive, looking after your body, investing in it, and it simply allows your mind to ‘zen’ out whilst you’re on the move!
- If all else fails, think of how good a cup of coffee would taste, or whatever your morning spice happens to be!
5) Visual Prep/ goal seeing
- If you’re a total zombie in the morning and struggle to construct a full sentence, let alone recall your fitness goals, then write a list and stick it next to your bed where you can see it!
- Include a few short term goals such as ‘going to increase my squats by 5kg this week’, or ‘want to feel more confident and strong when I go on holiday in 3 months’. Seeing your key goals will help you to pursue them.
- Set short term and long terms goals. (more on this here) and try to mark yourself to market on those as you’re going. Three simple principles I try to live by;
i) Set realistic goals.
ii) Find something you genuinely enjoy, pursue it and you’ll be more inclined to stick to it,
iii) Check & measure your progress on a weekly basis.
6) Plan ahead!
- Work out exactly what you’re doing that day, and whatever you do, avoid showing up not knowing what to do at the gym. Book in a class in advance and schedule 3-6 more in the diary – this way you can just use them as you go, consume them and stay on track!
7) School uniform
- Do you remember laying your school uniform out the night before? Just a Swedish thing perhaps? Well either way, whilst school may be long since over, the same principle applies here – prepare your gym kit! This way your zombie self will just have to slip into trainers and leggings – no brain function involved at all, just autopilot.
8) Drink & Think!
- Having slept for hours, first thing is to get some water in your system. A huge glass of cold water with a lemon slice squeezed inside does wonders. If you have time why not make a small cold-press ‘multivitamin hit’. Recipe: spinach, ginger, lime/lemon, parsley and ½ apple.
- Having a stretch first thing in the morning can help loosen up both body & mind!
- Small bite-sized steps make more of a cumulative and sustainable difference than one great leap.
- Everyone starts somewhere, and the small initial motions can be some of the most important ones – remind yourself of this, as ‘You don’t have to be great to start, but start to be great’.
9) Training buddy
- Buddy up with a partner, this way you’re less likely to cancel and disappoint a friend. It adds a layer of gentle competition, but also a form of adherence / compliance to the program!
- Upon waking, our blood sugar levels are naturally at a low point, and we need some form of kick-starting energy. Whilst it’s a vaguely tired cliché, this is THE most important meal of the day, so go to town! It’s a raw calorie hit at a point that your body needs it the most.
- You’re literally restarting the body, breaking the fast, kicking the metabolism into life, refueling and re-energizing the system for the day ahead. Without it, you’re just spluttering about on empty, and given that blood sugar trough, will be more likely to fall off the bandwagon thereafter.
- A breakfast of champions might consist of a source of lean protein, some complex carbs and a good source of healthy fats.
- However, if you don’t fancy making an omelet with salmon and avocado, or anything else for that matter the a far quicker alternative is my Muesli! Whip up a massive batch on the weekend then just sprinkle a portion into a bowl, add some fresh berries and you’re done! Also, as in the video, occasionally, to add a little deliciousness, you could grate some 90% dark chocolate on top! Yum!
11) Whatever you do don’t hit the Snooze button!
- It’s deadly and never works. Set a time and get up straight away!
12) Get out of bed!
- If this is an issue put the phone on LOUD in another room. DO NOT go back to bed!
Congratulations to the following 5 fabulous Instagram entrants are the winners of my custom-created recovery bundles! @35allicat @fakander @iona_ldnr @debbieariella @jedwards81. Each 14-piece Garnier Recovery Bundle will help the winner to fully recover and restore post-workout, and consist of 4 categories:
- 1 x 400ml Bottle of Ultimate Blends Sleek Restorer shampoo [HERE]
- 1 x 400ml Bottle of Ultimate Blends Sleek Restorer conditioner [HERE]
- 1 x Pot of Sleek Restorer Balm [HERE]
- 1 x Bottle of Sleek Perfector Oil [HERE]
- 1 x 400ml Bottle of Ultimate Blends Restoring Lotion (Honey Treasures) [HERE]
- 1 x Honey Treasures Restoring Butter [HERE]
- 1 x Intensive 7 Days Hand Cream (Shea Butter) [HERE]
- 1 x 400ml Intensive 7 Days Lotion (Shea Butter) [HERE]
- 1 x UV Sport Sun Protection Mist SPF30 [HERE]
- 1 x After Sun Gel with Aloe Vera [HERE]
- 1 x Dry Mist SPF30 [HERE]
Well done and stay tuned for my next collaboration with the Garnier family