How-To: Prepare Your Feet For Spring

We become a lot more aware of the overall look and feel of our feet as warmer months begin to approach.  It might not even be until we are busting out the sandals that we realize how dry and cracked our feet have really gotten.  When it comes to feet, we usually put them at the bottom of our list of priorities.  Probably because they are kind of “out of sight, out of mind” in a sense…but, our feet are actually the workhorses of our bodies.  They are literally holding us up every day, so they really deserve some love year-round.  

Keep Them Clean

This probably sounds obvious, but the cleanliness of our feet can often be overlooked.  It is important to not only cleanse our feet of dirt, but also of dead and dry skin.  Take some extra time in the shower to really scrub them.  The dead and dry skin can build up easily on your feet and become harder to tackle if you don’t tend to them regularly.  And plus, no one wants dirty feet. 

Moisturise with Foot Cream Regularly

During the winter, our skin tends to dry out even more because of the colder weather.  Yes, even though your feet are covered up, the weather does still affect them.  So just as you moisturize your face and body, moisturize your feet regularly as well. 

Our feet require a heavier moisturizer than our face and body, so finding a foot cream that works for you is important.  It also helps to pick a time that works best for you to apply your foot cream…maybe it’s right before bed or when you wake up in the morning before you put your socks on.  You don’t have to apply foot cream daily, but by doing so three-four times a week, you’ll instantly notice softer, healthier feet.    

Give Yourself a Mini Pedicure

Make the time to give yourself a mini pedicure once a month.  This doesn’t have to be some extravagant thing—however, if you want it to be, we are all for a little self-pampering, too—but you can keep it nice and simple by buying yourself a foot pumice and giving yourself a footbath.  The foot pumice will work harder on your feet to scrape away all that dead and dry skin that may have built up that you weren’t able to get off simply by scrubbing in the shower.  After your foot pumice leaves you with already noticeable softer skin, apply your foot cream as well, so the new skin on your feet is moisturized.  And, there, mini pedicure finished.

Choose Your Footwear Wisely

This part’s especially fun: New Shoes!  Just kidding, but having sturdy footwear is an important part to having healthy and happy feet.  Obviously, we’re not saying you need a new pair of boots every single winter, but it is important to be aware of when your shoes are just a little too broken in or have completely just run their course.  

It’s also important to make sure that both your shoes and socks are clean, dry, comfortable and fit right.  If your shoes and socks are constantly rubbing or squeezing your feet in an uncomfortable way all day, then, one, that’s honestly just unenjoyable for you, and two, it’s really not good for your skin. 

Lastly, Make it a Habit

If you do most of the things we’ve suggested, regularly, then they’ll become habit.  When it comes down to it, cleaning and moisturizing your feet really does not take long at all.  Not only will your soft and happy feet thank you, but they’ll look so good once that sun finally comes out.

Turn Your Health Kick Into A Long-Term Fitness Regiment

2017 is really underway and you’re working to hold true to your New Year’s Resolution of getting in your best shape ever.  Maybe you hit the gym hard after the holidays, but now its February and that “New Year, New Me” drive is starting to fizzle out.  Or, maybe January was a little too soon to fully commit to the extreme workout regimen you had intended, so instead you just didn’t really start at all.  Don’t worry, it’s never too late to get into a new fitness routine.  Here’s a couple pointers on how to start one that you can stick with for the long run, and help you make your health kick into an overall healthy lifestyle. 

Start Small

If you’re just getting back into the gym, you probably won’t be at the same place strength and endurance wise as you imagine having left off.  This is important to remember.  It is good to challenge yourself, however, setting unreasonable challenges and goals your first month back may only discourage you further.  Try to start small.  Pick an activity you like, and a reasonable time to do it for.  For example, maybe you’re going to jog for fifteen minutes, three days a week.  By doing this, you will get in the habit of setting aside time to get in shape, but not overcommitting to so much time that you feel overwhelmed with other things you may have to accomplish during the week.    

By starting small, you also allow room to give yourself weekly goals in order to build up your strength.  If you start with fifteen minutes of jogging, then the next week you could decide to jog for eighteen minutes, or you could set yourself a long-term goal of being able to run a certain distance within the next three months.  Doing this can allow you to measure your progress, which makes exercising a little more fun.  This also motivates you to keep the health kick going because you’re always working towards a little something new.  And then, out of nowhere, you’ll be like, “wow, look how strong I’ve gotten.”  Crazy.

Choose an Activity You Enjoy

This may seem a little tricky.  We know sometimes it seems like there are just those people who absolutely love working out and then people who just, well, don’t.  This isn’t true, though.  First of all, no one loves working out all the time, and you probably aren’t going to either.  Like everything in life, sometimes you’re going to really enjoy it and sometimes it is going to feel a little bit like a chore, but that’s why the key here is finding something you at least have an interest in. 

There are so many different fitness classes and activities these days that there honestly is something for everyone.  Maybe you want to try cycling, or you like to do yoga at the end of the day to relax, or you decide to join a hiking group on weekends to socialize and get outside.  All of these activities are different, and all of them are exercise.  And, the beauty in having so many choices, is if you don’t like one thing, just try another.  Just because you start a class or think you’ll enjoy a certain type of exercise, doesn’t mean you’re forever indebted to it if you hate it.  You can keep trying different types of activities, exercises, and classes until you find one that you’re at least a little fond of.  Then, once you find your niche, you’ll be more excited to go.  

Another thing to remember is that anything that gets you moving technically counts as fitness, so start dancing while you’re making dinner or take a turn jumping on the trampoline with your kids after work.  Everyone starts somewhere, and once you find that thing that works for you, you won’t want to stop.

Every Fitness Regime Falters

Even if you’re loving your new workout plan, and loving the results, you’re going to have those days that you just really do not have the motivation to get to the gym, and that’s fine.  Everyone has lounge days, even lounge weeks, and everyone has cheat days.  One of the biggest factors to being successful long term is not depriving yourself of these days and not beating yourself up over them.  By allowing yourself rest and recuperation time, you won’t get as burnt out on your fitness regimen.  No one is perfect…we all eat carbs and lounge around the house sometimes, so don’t get down on yourself, just get back into it fitness routine next week.   

Taking breaks helps it feel less like a job, and more like a choice, which again, makes it easier to stick with long term.  And, no matter how long of a break you take, you know what they say, “muscle has great memory,” so it really is never too late to start again.

Soften Up Your Legs this Winter

With the holidays long behind us, but the weather still not really what we would consider ideal, sometimes it feels as though winter will never end, and even though it’s still a little chilly and chances are you’re wearing pants or tights anyways, there are things you can do to help you have softer and smoother legs for the spring. 

For starters, why do our legs get so dry and scaly in the winter?  You would think that because you’re covered up all the time that your skin would be holding in moisture and getting a little break, but our legs actually dry out more during winter months.  This is because of the constantly changing temperatures our bodies are encountering when we move from inside to outside, in and out of the shower, and to and from central heating.  

While there’s not too much you can do about the changing temperature, (aside from waiting out the cold weather in one, heat-controlled room, essentially like a bear in hibernation), there are a few things you can do to help soften your dry skin and make it much smoother. 

Here’s three easy tricks to try in order to have softer, less irritable legs during this final stretch of cold weather leading us into spring.  

1. Stay Hydrated

You obviously can’t keep your skin hydrated without keeping yourself hydrated, that’s just science.  On average, you should be drinking about two liters of water a day, which is easier to do if you have a cute water bottle.  We recommend treating yourself (make hydrating fun) and getting yourself a new water bottle you like.  Then, sport that thing around everywhere.  Staying hydrated will not only help with the dry and itchy skin on your legs, and all over your body, but drinking water also burns calories, so it’s a win, win.

2. Wear Soft, Natural Materials

Our skin is easily irritated by synthetic fibres and material blends, especially in these colder months when we are constantly covered up.  While it might be hard to swap out our everyday wear with all natural and comfortable materials, there are some areas of your life that should be purged of synthetic fibres before spring.

Harsh fabrics love the hide in our bedding and pajamas unfortunately.  This is probably because we don’t check the material blend of our bedding as often as we just “feel it” and are drawn to the overall look of it in our homes.  Since you are spending 6-8 hours a night in your bed and pajamas though, making sure that at least those blends are all natural materials will give your skin some much-needed rest after taking on the day.

3. Moisturize!

Real cutting edge stuff here, but yes, if you do moisturize regularly, your skin will be less dry and itchy.  Let the key word here be “regularly.”  Most people only moisturize after getting out of the shower, or once their skin already feels dry, and while, yes, this is helpful it is not as helpful as getting in the habit of moisturizing every day. 

Not only will moisturizing everyday penetrate your skin to treat the dryness itself, but also natural oils protect your skin by acting as a barrier between it and the elements or temperature.

By being aware and incorporating these three simple steps into our everyday routine, we can combat dry and itchy skin in these final winter weeks.  And, if our skin is feeling softer and more comfortable, then chances are we will too!