Olympic Beauties

Olympic training

As the final leg of the London Olympics 2012 preparations gets underway, our focus is on health and fitness. We’ve compiled our top tips our tips for keeping fresh and fit, naturally, throughout the summer sports season, and after we’ve had a little lie down we’ll think about doing some of them!

If the season of strappy dresses, bare legs, minimal make-up and, whisper it, ‘bikini bodies’,  isn’t enough to get you focused on looking your physical best, you can bet that this year’s upcoming Olympics will.

The UK, and London in particular, is about to be swamped with Olympic beauties. Yep, swing a cat in Stratford (not an Olympic sport, yet) and you’ll hit one of the world’s fittest young people, glorious in their physical prime, and probably wearing ‘bodycon’ just to rub it in.

There’s nothing like seeing a washboard stomach, an ultra-tight buttock and a set of elegant calf muscles (and that’s just the chaps) to get you Lycra’d to the max at the gym, or at least huffing around the park in the closest thing you have to a sports kit (read old pyjamas and a pair of Converse sneakers), while dreaming of joining the synchronised swimming team.

Jogging around the park to achieve natural beauty

The closest thing I came to being ‘sporty’ was owning a secondhand ping-pong bat once. But, hey, while we can’t all be Olympic standard athletes, we can all make an Olympic-sized effort to go natural while we get fit / huff around the park. Yep, keep your eye on a green medal, not a gold medal, we say. Here’s what to do and how to do it.

Shower & shine

Good hygiene with a regular wash and scrub during periods of high activity in summer is an obvious necessity, if you like socialising with other humans.

Step it up a notch, and rather than simply take a shower, try alternating the temperature between hot and cold after a workout to help reduce swelling and stimulate blood flow. It’s very Roman, which is almost Greek, which is super-Olympicky. Or something.

If baths are more your thing, there’s nothing quite like a hot bath with salts to stimulate your body and mind after exercise – which is exactly what gold medallist Olympic sprinter Christian Malcolm does. Whoop!

Get minty

Peppermint is a fantastically fresh unisex scent, and research by Wheeling Jesuit University Professor Bryan Raudenbush shows that it actually enhances an athlete’s performance.

During the study, where athletes used a peppermint inhaler, levels of energy increased whilst exhaustion decreased and pain threshold and tolerance improved. Peppermint is also thought to improve digestion; chewing peppermint gum or rubbing peppermint oil onto your temples can do the trick. Why not make the most of this ingredient with Green People’s Organic Homme range?

It’s not true that if you use peppermint to enhance performance you can eat more chocolate after training. At least, we don’t think so, but you’re welcome to try.

Olympic natural fitness

Deodorise, naturally

The saying goes that women glow, men perspire and horses sweat. Whatever category you fit into, natural underarm perspiration is necessary when we do even the mildest of exercise (and this writer normally does the mildest of exercise) as this is how our bodies cool down – otherwise we’d all be walking furnaces.

There are two different methods to combat natural pong. A number of Olympic athletes are out promoting big name anti-perspirant brands, which can clog, close or block the pores from releasing perspiration.  But the greener approach is to neutralise the smell of the perspiration in the form of a deodorant.  Opt for paraben free and aluminium free natural deodorants that deal with the smell of perspiration rather than block the sweat.

Avoid the use of chemicals with natural smell-busters. A mineral deodorant, offered by brands like PitRok, Faith in Nature and Incognito use the natural salts’ ammonium alum to kill the bacteria that creates the odour.  

Egyptian natural beauties would use distilled witch hazel and were often found experimenting with extracts of dried thyme, sage, fresh lemon peel or grapefruit essential oil to mask their whiffs. The modern alternatives are easy-going natural deodorants that have been expertly sniffed, tried and tested for the same effect.  Dr Hauschka’s Fresh Deodorant  and Neal’s Yard Remedies Lemon & Coriander deodorant use ancient wisdom to provide a pleasant and natural deterrent.

So, you might look like you’ve crawled through a swamp after that half hour on the treadmill, but at least you don’t have to smell like one.

Foot balm

Footie fans

If you’re kicking around the field all day with your feet stuck in pumps, like David Beckham, then your tootsies are bound to need a rest.  Use a good foot balm that both moisturises and cools feet after a workout. We love the Dr. Hauschka Fitness Foot Balm and the antibacterial properties of Balm Balm Tea Tree Foot Balm. Oh, and, er, if David Beckham is reading this, you can text us on SWALK.

Muscle in

Gymnasts require a lot of muscle exercise to build up strength. Team GB artistic gymnastics stars Hannah Whelan, Kristian Thomas and Louis Smith will know the benefits of pampering tired muscles with a good muscle toner or spritzer. The Natural Hero Cool Peppermint Muscle Spritz is great for reviving any tension.

Diet delights

We all know the old adage that you are what you eat. Avoid spicy food, alcohol, caffeine and red meat to prevent whiffiness while exercising and balance your meals.

Olympic athletes eat regular meals with plenty of fresh green veggies – and with all the homegrown salads of this summer season this is the best time to feast away!

Drew Sullivan, captain of Team GB’s basketball team, eats eggs and spinach. Eggs are a fantastic source of amino acid, which assists with muscle growth and repair, whilst spinach is full of good power-boosting nutrients. Think Popeye.

By the way, watching Come Dine With Me is not a substitute for sorting out a healthy balanced diet once and for all. So, why not switch the television off this summer and go and do something healthier instead? Take a ball to the park the day after the women’s volleyball final has screened and we can bet you won’t be alone!

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