Our farewell to winter has begun and while we are looking forward to long summer evenings on the beach, this time of year fills almost everyone with a sense of dread – shedding those layers of clothing and putting on a bikini for the first time, exposing the skin that has been hiding all winter.
First things first. There is no quick fix to get that magazine model body we have been brainwashed into thinking we all should have. A survey conducted by the US Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 91% of women are unhappy with their body image and while no amount of beauty or fitness regimes are going to change that statistic, there are a few things we can do to make sure that our transition into the summer season is the least traumatic it could possibly be.
As the Maltese spring has already offered up some days that have been warm enough to get to the beach, getting ahead with some little jobs will ensure you’re not passing up a day on the beach simply because you’re not ready.
Pay Attention to those Toes
It’s not only your midriff that hasn’t been seen in public all winter. Your feet have been hiding in boots for so long you start to forget that they also could use a bit of TLC. Book yourself a pedicure or bring out the foot scrubs and a fashionable colour of nail polish and tidy up those toes. Your feet may be white until they get a little bit of sun but they don’t have to be full of hard skin and over-grown cuticles.
Fight the Fuzz
Welcome summer, when the light makes you feel full of life, but also highlights every single hair on your skin. Though we tend to get a bit lazy throughout the winter – our legs are mostly covered through the cold season anyway – now is time for a body hair spring-clean. Get ahead and book an appointment with your beautician or stock up on all those hair removal products. Blunt razors aren’t going to do the trick under the spotlight of that summer sun.
Stock Up on Sunscreen
We all know how important sunscreen is, so telling you to lather it on is not going to come as news. Last year’s stock is probably expired so make sure you think about replenishing your sunscreens before your first beach day. Sunscreen that is older than a year expires and is no longer effective. Make sure to get all of those exposed areas as every bit of skin can burn – the top of your ears, your feet and even your lips are in the most danger the first few times you go to the beach. Buy some now and be ready for that first unexpected beach outing.
TLC for your Body
Sunscreen isn’t the only way the look after your skin. Trade up your dry winter skin for a summer glow with an exfoliator in the shower followed up by plenty of moisturiser.
Keep your hair moisturised with leave-in conditioner right from the start of the summer. The earlier you start looking after it the less likely it is to start going dry and straggly as the summer progresses.
Everybody loves a little bit of accessorising and summer is no different. When you’re putting together your perfect outfit try and think of accessories that also offer protection. When choosing sunglasses make sure they are polarised. Polarised lenses block out 99% to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays.
Hats can add a little bit of style to your beach outfit. Broad rimmed hats are better than baseball caps but anything is better than nothing. Long-sleeved flowing tops and long skirts can protect your skin before it gets too hot.
Have you ever looked at someone and just known that they spent their childhood in a ballet studio? By simply standing tall, neck long, shoulders down and abs pulled in you tend to look slimmer and taller. Your posture can make you look slimmer and taller by the pool and will also mean your back is happier and less likely to hurt later on in life so ditch the droopy shoulders and straighten up this summer. If it’s harder than you think to maintain, join a Pilates class and strengthen your core which will make it easier for you to maintain good posture.
It’s never too late to start a fitness regime. Although you’re not going to lose a huge amount of weight or build a huge amount of muscle between now and bikini season, the benefits of starting a fitness regime extend to way beyond the ideal body. The tendency is to start too hard at this time of year with the likelihood of keeping it up very small – especially once the summer parties kick in. The trick is to start with something manageable – join a gym, go for a run, clean up your diet and try to stick to this throughout the year. If you manage to stick to it, next summer may be a little easier!
© 2017 – VIDA Magazine