Happy New Year, Happy New You - Part 1 EXERCISE
2019, the last year before we enter the 20’s of the latest Millennium (in all fairness, there is only two!). I don’t want to spend time here regaling the past 12 months because to be fair, we each experience the same thing differently and I don’t want to be upsetting anyone! But what other odes of positivity could there be than:
Let’s look forward and make the changes that we need, and not dwell on the past and become consumed by the experiences from which we need the change.
Part 1 will outline the most popular News Year Resolution:
EXERCISE & FITNESS
This is probably the top of many peoples New Years Resolutions – Exercise! Go to the gym more often (or for the first time!), get fit, lose the Christmas pounds, or just as a social activity to meet new people. It will be very easy to find a good deal for membership come January – many gyms and private trainers will be taking advantage of the oncoming New Year Resolutions phenomenon. You should only go to the gym when YOU want to though. If someone else tells you that you need to go, then you probably won’t have the drive to succeed and will be upset if you don’t meet your goals. If you wish to build muscle or lose fat, it should be your decision, your desire, your want. Try to segment your goals into three-month semesters; four goals for the year overall.
Cardinal rules: stretch before and after your workout, drink plenty of water, ensure you have your body’s balance of vitamins, and eat well.
There are different types of exercises available for all sorts of needs and body types.
The classic gym:
Here you have an array of equipment that will work your core, upper and lower bodies. Your abs, arms, and legs. Very often you will get a personal trainer who will assist you with your goal. They will check your BMI (Body Mass Index, the measure of body fat based on height and weight) and devise a plan for you which will likely include an eating plan. In fact, try to find a gym that will provide this as eating appropriately will majorly assist you in attaining your goals. Some gyms may also offer classes with your membership – like kettlebells or Pilates. Stationary cycling has become increasingly popular with new energetic, empowering classes popping up all over like weasels. It is so strange how a gym can motivate us more than going outside into the free, fresh air! I believe that it is down to the collective will-power of fellow health enthusiasts and the professional trainer. I guess you wouldn’t go seek medical assistance from a non-professional! God bless the professionals (with their outstanding loans…)
If to go to the gym is your New Year Resolution then I advise to properly research a good, clean gym with friendly and supportive (and very non-judgemental) staff.
You may be surprised to learn that your local community center or school/college offers fitness classes. They would usually be ‘sport’ that don’t need a whole load of equipment, like yoga or dance. Even joining a Waltz dance group can help your heart beat stronger and have your blood pumping healthily. Depending on your physical being, you may not need an intense fitness course, but just movement (and rhythm!). Sure, Waltz can be nice, but if you are into something spicier then try out salsa or bachata. If you are not sure about yoga, then check out our Blog “Yoga for Beginners” – it's not just for hippies!
“Wax on, wax off”, martial arts is not only great for fitness, but it is a form of meditation, teaching patience, discipline, and, quite importantly, self-defense. Karate, Tae-Kwon-Do, Jujitsu, Aikido, Tai-Chi – see if any are practiced locally and sign up! I don’t believe that anyone is judged by age or ability if they enter a Dojo, it is an art for everyone to practice. (If one-to-one combat allures you but you are disinterested in such rigidity, try joining a local boxing club! But be careful!)
If you need the support of a team to succeed then try out for a team. Indoor options include the likes of basketball, ice-hockey (ok so yeah, ice hockey is ulteriorly outdoor, but depending on where you are you may not have the opportunity to practice out of doors!) Most sport now has all-female and all-male teams, and I am sure if you show your determination you will get on the team, no matter your gender.
So at home could be the easiest, and most accessible, place for you to exercise. Grab an exercise bike or treadmill in the January sales. Best place to put it? In front of the TV! If you can’t miss your soaps, then don’t use it as an excuse. And I know that we are tired at the end of the day, but if you are sitting on the couch then you could always be guilted into exercising for an hour or two in the evening!! Check out our blog “Lazy Exercises to Try at Home” for a more in-depth way to exercise without completely losing all breath and sense of balance.
Join a team! Football, soccer, baseball, lacrosse; anything in a team and out in the fresh air, running on the green, falling and scraping your knee. It all sounds very nice until you don on the uniform and come face to face with an opposite team of highly trained and organized beings… Ok so I am not being too supportive here, obviously field sports are not suitable for me!! As I have previously mentioned, Yoga is my choice of fitness.
This is an easy free one if you live in an area where you won’t get hit by a car or attacked by a bear! It’s out of doors, fresh air, and free! You have no time restriction, you can go your own speed, and you can find people to jog with to create or strengthen relationships. Need I even mention the liberation and satisfaction? Try though to find an even terrain as you can hurt yourself easily going through a forest if you are not experienced. Also, if you find that you are more comfortable (or that it is when you have the time) to jog at night then I advise wearing high visibility clothing.
Cycling is great, going to work or school or the shop. It’s a healthy and environmentally conscious alternative to the car (or truck or motorbike). It is good for the heart, muscles, and joint mobility, not to mention your lungs and pocket. I do find it a lazy option too! When you get used to cycling, 80% can be cruising. And always remember:
everytime you break a sweat climbing to the top of a hill, it will be followed by a downhill!
Hillwalking or walking in forest areas is a very nice way to exercise. Deep in nature, fresh air, beautiful colors, and scenery. It is pleasing to see true nature if you are living in the city. You can take a day out of the city to enjoy the outdoors, and when you have more confidence (and probably experience too) you can camp out! Sure camping isn’t really exercising the body, but I guess it is broadening our horizons and expanding our experiences!
I have probably missed something the choice is so immense. Whatever you choose to do, do it for yourself, do it to enjoy it, and do it with a smile.
Coming Soon: Part 2 - Travel