A healthy body starts from within; it´s what gives us that natural glow, bright eyes, fresh complexion, happy body, and mind. It doesn´t matter how many lotions and potions you’re using – if you´re not nourishing your body, getting enough sleep and exercising on a regular basis – no magical pot of cream will make that skin and body glow!
But what if you´re doing all of these things seemingly the right way; eating healthy, working out 3-4 times a week – and you´re still feeling bloated, fatigued and irritable? Every body is different, and as with your skincare; we are all uniquely built – so there has to be an individual approach to your body and health as well. But one thing which many of us women suffer with in common (and a not so sexy topic) – is water retention. This is an excessive build up of fluid in your body, and something which I´ve quite often struggled with (not so ideal come summer time, when one wants to look, and feel your best!). The most common cause of water retention is weak circulation in the legs veins, hot weather (your body tends to be less efficient at removing fluid from tissues in the summer months), standing for long periods of time, a congested lymphatic system, hormones associated with the menstrual cycle, too much salt in your diet, certain hormones and medicines, or crash diets…
One of the most common places to for water retention, is your legs and thigh area. But luckily, there are lots of things you can do to help shed the water, and feel confident when getting those pins out on show!
First things first – you need to look at your diet. Having a healthy, balanced diet which contains lots of vegetables, grains and other high-fiber foods will definitely help. Make sure you up your protein (which encourages your body to shed excess fluid), have lots of cabbage, cucumber and parsley (which are natural diuretics), and eat enough bananas for the potassium (this also helps eliminate the fluid retention). Then, cut back on dehydrating drinks such as coffee, tea and alcohol, make sure you drink enough water (ironically, fluid retention comes from a lack of water because you’re body doesn’t know when it will get more of it, so it retains everything it has!), and most importantly, cut out high sodium foods out of your diet – salt absorbs water and causes excess swelling.
Once your diet is sorted – make sure you get enough exercise on a daily basis – 20 minutes is a minimum (read my fitness blog post here.) Then, lastly – if you´re up for it, and have the time and budget to go that extra mile to look your best come summer time – there are lots of alternative body treatments out there, which can be a way of decreasing any excess bloating or swelling (or any other concerns you might have).
For the past 3 weeks, I´ve been testing out HYPOXI – a targeted method of body shaping alongside a specialised training concept, which combines alternating high and low pressure with exercise, to help target swelling in those areas which just won’t budge.. Now, I am not saying I need to loose weight, but I have struggled with fluctuating periods of water retention (due to various reasons I won´t be boring you with in this post) – so needless to say, I was very intrigued to try a round of sessions just before the summer season!
I had never heard of HYPOXI, until my friend and trainer recommended I pay a visit following my concerns. To be honest, I was completely unsure as to what to expect, and I´m also quite sceptical to anything which promotes weight loss. As you know, I am a firm believer in a healthy and wholesome diet, alongside regular exercise and rest. BUT, going back to dealing with issues which your body can´t always control or manage – I was intrigued to try it out – to see if it worked for me.
According to the science behind HYPOXI, the most important aspect of successfully reducing body fat, bloating and water retention – is optimal blood circulation to the concerned lower body areas. This makes perfect sense, as so many people suffer from poor circulation (no matter how healthy you might be).
So, how does it work?
They have HYPOXI studios all over the world; I went to the London based salon in Chiswick, run by the lovely Dorota. After an initial consultation, she created a personalised 2-week programme for me. HYPOXI have four different machines, all for varying concerns; my treatment plan included 1 x 20-minutes of on the Dermology, followed by 1 x 30-minutes on the S120 bike, 3 times a week for the duration of 2 weeks (6 sessions in total).
The Dermology session is achieved with vacuum, based on the principle of cupping – and compression, meaning treatment with positive pressure. This involves wearing a sort of space suit (a bit weird at first), and having a circulation boosting massage in this suit for 20 minutes – which in turn is supposed to work with the lymphatic system. The S120 vacuum treatment, includes negative and positive pressure while strapped onto the bicycle (now wearing a different type of space suit) while doing moderate exercise.
During this compression phase, blood and fluids are drained again, it stimulates your metabolism, water and swelling is reduced, and redundant fat is activated and transported via the blood circulation to be burned in the muscles. HYPOXI also claims to improve the appearance of cellulite and strengthens your body tissue. The effect? A firm and smoother complexion, reduced swelling, and a lighter body in general.
Firstly, the whole process is super easy, you have to wear loose fitted clothing, the exercise is really basic and simple, the vacuum pressure is relatively pleasurable, and the whole thing requires no down-time whatsoever (all very good things). However, there’s no denying, HYPOXI is dedication – both time wise, and financially. But, given I was pretty sceptical to the treatment concept at first, I have to admit I was pretty blown away when only after 2 sessions, my water retention had gone down dramatically. After 4 sessions, my skin felt much smoother and softer, and by the end of it, my body and appearance felt so light and energised. It is recommended you don’t exersize on the HYPOXI days, and you of course, eat healthy, lean and sensible during this period (you are given a more specific nutrition plan by HYPOXI that is reccomended to follow for maximum benefits).
As I spoke about in the beginning – every single body is unique. What works for me, might not work for you, and vice versa. It’s so important you find the right body treatment for you – be it something like HYPOXI, or more manual treatments such as Cellcosmet Body Detox Treatment or Elemis Targeted Toning Tightener. These are all great options if you want to tone, shed, and target stubborn areas of fat or water retention, which just won’t budge (no matter how much salad and water you consume!). Having more frequent and regular treatments are also a great option if you do struggle with a bumpy skin tone, and you want to feel your best (especially when you’re on your holibobs!).
But don’t forget that healthy starts from within, and before jumping on the latest craze and shedding lots of $$$ – the most important factor is having a healthy and varied diet, lots of water, a balanced lifestyle and enough regular exercise. Then, if you do decide to go that little extra; there are lots of great body treatments out there such as HYPOXI which can really help kickstart more long-term results – and can be excellent additions to achieve that happy and healthy body.
I received my sessions on a complimentary basis from HYPOXI, however, my review and general opinion, is of course 100% my own.
SUMMER BEAUTY BOX GIVE-AWAY
To finish off this blog post, and in celebration of all things summer, I´m so excited to be giving away this huge box of goodies, with so many incredible beauty products for body & hair, holiday essentials, SPF, jewellery, bikini, beach bags, and my go-to summer recipe cook book… Perfect timing, right?
With brands such as La Roche-Posay, Lavera, Bamford, Skinceuticals, Maria Nila, Elemental Herbology, Toni & Guy, Oysho, Barbour, House of Fraser, Daisy London (to only mention a few), taking part – it´s an absolute cracker of a give-away!
TO ENTER: Simply leave a comment with your name, and in one (or two) sentences let me know what more you want to be reading about on the blog; if it´s beauty, fitness, fashion, travel… Whatever! I´m always looking at bettering the blog and making sure I´m writing about stuff which you truly love and find inspiring – so any ideas, or more specific requests would be so appreciated!
**ENTRY NOW CLOSED**
Congratulations to the the lucky winner Sophie Ogilvie. Huge thanks to everyone else who entered, all tips and recommendations have been taken on board!