New Year is the time for resolutions and if you want to give your image a makeover for 2014, the good news is that you are just seven steps away from being in tip top shape. Whether you have overdone it on the turkey and treats this Christmas, been glued to the couch for most of 2013, or your self-esteem needs a boost, you can regain your confidence.
Here are our top tips on looking good and feeling fantastic, so you can give yourself a kick start this January.
Fitness First –
Do you feel that you are getting a bit of a paunch and your body is not in the shape it used to be? It is recommended that we do at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, and you will be surprised what a difference it will make. If you are time pushed, aim for 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening, or a full half hour in your lunch break.
Choose something that you can fit easily into your daily routine, such as a brisk walk, jog, cycle ride, or gym session. You might want to invest in a few sessions with a personal trainer to jump start your fitness programme. It will make you feel more energetic too, so you’ll be raring to go.
Cut Back on Booze –
It’s tempting to enjoy a pint or two at the pub after work, or indulge in wine when you are meeting with clients over lunch. However, overdoing it on the alcohol puts on the pounds, not to mention the effects it can have your health. Recent research by the Department of Health showed drinking five pints a week every week for a year amounts to the same calories as eating eight and a half donuts a fortnight – a total of 221 donuts a year! Cutting back on booze is an easy way to shave off the calories – and your stomach will thank you for it.
Eat Well –
Eating well doesn’t mean hitting the biscuit tin! Cutting back on sugary foods and drinks and stocking your fridge with oily fish, chicken and fresh vegetables, will do wonders for your waistline.
The internet is packed full of nutritious, healthy eating recipe ideas, so you’ll easily find your favourites. A top tip is to eat the colours of the rainbow – so why not substitute a lunchtime burger or baguette with a chicken salad featuring colourful vegetables such as red or yellow peppers, rocket leaves and baby tomatoes? If you feel peckish in the middle of the day, avoid chocolate and snack on cashew nuts or seed bars to keep your energy levels up.
Don’t Neglect Grooming –
A daily moisturiser can do wonders for your skin and using a moisturiser with an SPF factor of 15 or more can ward off sun damage. Spending a few minutes on your skin care helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles and will boost your confidence too. And, take time to shave in the mornings – it’s tempting to walk out the door without shaving, especially when you are in a rush, but a clean shave can look superb. Even if you have opted for a 5 o’clock shadow (otherwise known as designer stubble), this look still needs to be well maintained.
Get the Perfect Cut –
If you are experiencing male pattern baldness, there is no need to panic as there are a number of trendy styles which can give you a boost. Just ask your hair stylist for advice on which is the best option for you. Some of the fashionable looks for thinning hair include having your hair spiked with gel, keeping the sides short with a longer top, or choosing tousled layers. Going super short with a buzz cut, like David Beckham or Bradley Cooper, also makes a real statement.
Accessorise With Style –
Shades look stylish and fashionable whatever the time of year; not to mention the obvious benefits of shading your eyes from the sun’s rays! And, if you are nipping indoors, you can just wear your sunglasses on your head like a headband. Another way to accessorise is with a scarf. In autumn, winter and spring, wearing a scarf around the neck will really complete an outfit.
One of the popular ways to wear a scarf is to fold it into two, drape the folded scarf round the back of the neck towards the front and slot the two loose ends into the loop – and voila, the perfect look!
Dress for Success –
It is easy to just sling on a sweatshirt or rugby shirt some blue jeans and trainers, but are your tired old clothes really doing you any favours? An easy way to find out what works for your body shape is to head to a department store with an in-house personal shopper. They will provide guidance on what works, for you, your lifestyle and your body shape.
If not, a friendly shop assistant can help point you in the right direction. As a rough guide – if you have a rectangular body shape, layer your outfits and go for tailored clothing such as a jacket worn with a scarf; if you have a rounded body shape, opt for prints and vertical stripes.
Image by Smart Photo Stock
Terry O’Brien is a leading trichologist at The London Centre of Trichology, which provides diagnosis and treatment of male and female hair loss.