In the cooler weather it can be a little more difficult to find the motivation to keep up an exercise routine.

It is also the time when we are prone to muscle strain if we don’t warm up properly and Vitamin D deficiency due to less exposure to glorious sunlight, potentially making us feel depressed as Vitamin D deficiency can contribute to seasonal affective depression. It is also important for regulating the immune system and absorbing calcium for strong healthy bones.

I know that I find myself feeling a little flat by the middle of winter and the cold Autumn days have seen us rugging up in warmer clothing and minimizing our exposure to sunlight and staying indoors more often, but with these cool Autumn days we have also had some beautiful sunsets and the stunning warm hues of orange and red that Autumn leaves bring are painted all around the place.

Anyone who knows me well, is quite aware that I really only like exercise once I have walked out of a gym!

I am happy to sing the praises of the benefits of a workout and feel fabulous once it is over, but like a lot of people, I can find it difficult to get motivated to actually go and just get it done.
It sounds like a chore and quite frankly, for me it is. It is like grocery shopping. You know you have to do it or there will be no food in the house.

Exercise is a necessary part of my life and keeps me strong and helps to reduce issues caused by having scoliosis. Without core strength, my future spinal health would look pretty dismal.
So, it just has to be done. It is this attitude that has me trudging up the stairs twice a week to the local gym and taking a pilates and yoga class.

I am also rather keen to develop the ability to twist and contort my body like great yoga gurus and live in the hope that one day… I will master that.

In the meantime, I work on unravelling tension and laughing at my lack of ability to stand on one leg without falling over.

The issue is how to recover without spending days avoiding the stairs for fear of your gluts screaming at you or feeling like you have had a caesarean section when you roll over in bed, because you have used abdominal muscles which have happily lived somewhat dormant until you went and did an exercise that woke those suckers up.

What I have found helpful is the following …

  • Warm up – or you will cause yourself an injury. In cooler weather, keep warm before exercise or run the risk of having an injury caused by muscle spasm.
  • Know your limits and be happy to advise your overenthusiastic trainer when you feel that something is too difficult or uncomfortable for you. We are all different and it is your body. On the other hand, it is also good to try and see if you can achieve more than you thought you were actually capable of, but you don’t want to feel the effects of overdoing it for the next 3 weeks and lose momentum because of injury that could have been avoided.
  • Give those muscles some food – L-Glutamine is vital for muscle growth and assists with muscle recovery after exercise.
  • Just doing it Go on auto-pilot. Make an appointment in your diary. Do what has to be done and just get out there and exercise. It is far too easy to put it off and often saying “next week” turns into next year and another 5 or 10 kilos to lose. Don’t do it to yourself. Prevention is better than cure.
  • Rosemary oil and wintergreen for muscle strain Always dilute wintergreen oil in a carrier oil such as sweet almond oil. This contains methyl salicylate which is ‘natures aspirin’ and is commonly used in many heat rubs combined with other essential oils. It works to improve circulation to muscle tissue and is wonderful combined with the anti-inflammatory and circulatory stimulant properties of rosemary oil to help to relieve the pain of joint pain, sprains and strains.
  • MSM plus Vitamin C MSM is a naturally occurring, organic source of sulphur present in fresh fruits and vegetables which has anti-inflammatory properties. It is the best friend of those with joint and muscle inflammation. MSM with vitamin C also plays a vital role in the health of connective tissues, such as collagen.
  • Bone broths Warming, hearty soups made with real chicken or beef stock that has been made by simmering organic bones is very healing for inflamed or damaged ligaments and tendons. Remember to use ‘food as medicine’. Bone broth has been nicknamed ‘a magic elixir’ and also has benefits for hair, skin and nails.

If you would like a consultation with Natasha or to ask her any questions, please email her

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