As written for Hip & Healthy
The alcohol haze of the festive season lifts and a familiar phrase is bandied about, ‘New Year New You’. Whether it’s the juice cleanse, hurried gym membership sign up or booze free claims, everyone typically jumps, or more like catapults themselves onto a health bandwagon of some form come January. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, how can you make sure your new, healthy mind-frame becomes a routine, and not just a short term fad? I’ve collated the best tips, tricks, classes and hacks to make sure your motivation makeover lasts in 2017.
Join a gym, wisely
There are two ways to approach the ‘gym join up’, and choosing the wrong option could be your undoing. Using the New Year to motivate and inspire a change for the better is a fantastic way to get on the front foot in January, but be smart about it. If you are a former gym goer and know what you’re doing, then a membership at a value for money option like The Gym, or Easy Gym is a great way to go. If you need motivation however and are unsure what to try or do, it’s smarter to join a gym like Fitness First or the YMCA which have a heavy focus on group activity. You’ll pay a bit more for membership at an all inclusive option like this, but if you’re a newbie to the fitness world it might be worth forking out the extra pennies for the ‘motivation tools’ it provides. If you want to give a few different options a test run before committing, sign up to ClassPass. It gives you the luxury of trying all sorts of gyms, classes and workout options – that way you can see what is going to work for you in the long run.
Fitness trends to try in 2017
- Boxing Yoga – Yes, you read that right, a boxing and yoga hybrid and a fun, powerful way to take control of your body in 2017.
- Water circuits – Just because we are in the depths of a UK winter, doesn’t mean you have to pack away the swimming costume. Virgin Active is one of the gyms offering this new pool based circuit style training, and is a fantastic all over strength, core and muscle workout.
- If running is your exercise of choice, how about something like the Nike run club. Download the app and join a group for free. Mixed groups, women’s only groups, marathon, first timers – there’s something for everyone.
- Lastly, team sport is a great way to stay motivated. What starts as fitness, will often turn social, which is the best way for those who struggle to stay on track. Being a part of a team will keep you coming back. Head to gomammoth.co.uk to scope out potential teams in your patch.
Ease off the sugar
So you buried the rule book for Christmas, good for you. Mince pies, sweets, mulled wine, second helpings of turkey and all the chocolate… you indulged and enjoyed, and so you should! But you might find come the New Year, your body is suddenly craving sugar and fatty foods a lot more than when you ate ‘clean’ so to speak. The mistake people make come January, is to ditch all of the bad for the absolutely green – and that’s, quite frankly a recipe for disaster. It’s better to ease your body out of the festive season, by starting to replace the chocolate and ‘bad food’ with sweet, but natural alternatives. Honey, coconut, date based slices, 70% dark chocolate after dinner, ‘good for you’ treat options like this will help wean you way back to a healthy diet. It’s a much less painful approach than a spinach, broccoli and kale smoothie for every meal as you try and cleanse your way into 2017. Fitness and health is never going to happen overnight, so don’t try and make it a short term fix with a hard to stomach answer.
Sales Sales Sales. It’s one of the advantages of a New Year, and the best time to buy that new laptop you’ve been meaning to get, or re-work your tired wardrobe. It is also a great time to plan a weekend getaway to look forward to. After a few weeks of binging, family and lounging around in your Christmas jumper, the majority of us knuckle down so to speak and focus on our more serious objectives for the year ahead – including getting our fitness on track. But planning a few nights retreat in the Cotswolds, or a spa session in Bath to clear your mind, is a great way to make the most of those healthy New Year positive thoughts. You need to remember to focus on the serious, but also still make room for fun. Prices are so low in New Year sales, even if your bank account is still straining from a Christmas present hangover, it’ll barely notice.
Slow and steady wins the race, as they say. Be kind to yourself and approach your fitness goals in bite sized steps. Go in guns blazing, and you’ll burn out and give up before you can say February.
Gemma Bath @gembath www.sunliteyes.com