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September is a great month to kick-start your health and wellbeing
September is a great month to kick-start your health and wellbeing | © MIND AND I / Shutterstock
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The New January: 8 Expert-Approved Health Tips for September

Picture of Tor Cardona
Wellness editor
Updated: 12 September 2018
January isn’t the only time to hit refresh. Over half of Brits feel September has become synonymous with setting new goals, according to research by Pinterest. Whether you’re looking to revitalise your sleep, fitness regime or diet, these expert tips will see you on your way.

Supercharge your slumber

The summer holidays can wreak havoc on sleep patterns. “If you rely on an alarm or caffeine to wake up, it’s likely you’re sleep deprived,” says Damian Soong, co-founder of Form Nutrition. “Sleep deprivation occurs when you consistently get less than your recommended eight hours, meaning your body struggles to go through each of the sleep cycles, taking its toll on everything from decision making to blood pressure and cardiovascular health. If you struggle with your sleep, avoid relying on sleeping pills, which sedate the brain, and instead try a sleep nootropic, which can help to regulate daily sleep-wake cycles.”

Try an infrared sauna

Saunas are on the up, thanks to new technology. “Where traditional saunas burn wood, infrared saunas use visible and non-visible light wavelengths to create heat, warming the body from the inside out,” says Lou Riby, managing director of Elemental Herbology and wellness expert. “This enables your body to flush out toxins such as pollution up to 20 percent more quickly than a typical Finnish sauna.” Whether you’re looking to support a new exercise regime (infrared saunas significantly boost blood flow to aid recovery) or are on the hunt for a foolproof post-summer detox, an infrared sauna could be the perfect new training partner. Book in for a session at Chelsea’s KXU or Glow Bar in Fitzrovia.

glow bar new
Glow Bar | © Lia Vittone

Rethink meditation

“September is a great time of the year to reassess your current situation and finish the year strong,” says Natalia Bojanic, founder of live meditation app Sexy Mind. “If you’ve previously struggled with meditation – a powerful tool to boost brain health – try to rethink your attitude and remember there’s no right or wrong way to meditate.” Taking as little as five minutes per day for mental training is all you need to see a difference in your mental clarity and creativity. Start by downloading the Sexy Mind app, which offers live sessions daily.

Cut back on sugar

Feeling sluggish and bloated after an indulgent summer? Seventy-two hours is all you need to get back on track, says Lily Simpson, founder of healthy eating hotspot Detox Kitchen. “Start by cutting out processed foods, white carbs and other simple sugars, replacing with whole foods. If you’re craving sugar, have a piece of fruit but stick to just one piece per day, ideally apples or pears or 100g [4oz] of berries. Try to avoid higher GI fruits such as watermelon and grapes, which could put you on a blood-sugar rollercoaster.”

Learn to switch off

“As the season starts to change, take time to stop, settle and just breathe,” says Michael James Wong, meditation guru and author of Sit Down, Be Quiet (2018). Don’t be afraid to say no to social events and put yourself first. Invest in rest and give yourself permission to go to bed earlier, sooner and for longer. On the first Monday of every month, Wong hosts Quiet Club, an evening of quiet conversation and real-world meditation at Mortimer House.

Set a fitness goal

Thirty-eight percent of Britons claim they want to be more active come September, according to research by Pinterest. Just avoid overdoing it as you ease yourself back in. “Your body has a ‘use it or lose it’ mentality,” explains Third Space elite trainer Leo Savage. “Even if you were super fit back in June but haven’t done much over the summer, you need to take a few steps back.” His top tip? Consider signing up for a race around in November. “If you start a training plan in September, this will give you plenty of time to work on your fitness without running the risk of injury.”

Forget juice cleansing

“A juice cleanse may seem like an easy way to clean up your diet, but there’s zero scientific evidence to back up the claim they rid your body of toxins,” explains Adiba Osmani, co-founder of drop-in meditation studio Inhere. Ditch juice cleanses, often devoid in fibre and high in sugar, for a nutrient-dense diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Also consider upping your omega-3 and antioxidant intake, which can help to reduce alcohol-induced inflammation, and taking a probiotic supplement to support gut health.

Avoid sugar-rich juice cleanses | © Veeterzy / Unsplash

Reintroduce routine

“The secret to a lifelong healthy relationship with food is consistency,” says nutritional therapist Fran Phillips. Try to eat meals at roughly the same time every day and avoid snacks unless you are genuinely hungry as well as alcohol during the week. Also try to eat seasonally where possible and as the temperatures drop, eat plenty of warming healthy carbs such as porridge, stews and soups with root vegetables to help curb sugar cravings.