05/01/2010

New Year resolution 1 - Finding a healthier me

I guess it's that time of the year again: come January we're all rushing to find ways to make better. And, whilst usually I find this ultimately boring - taking resolutions which are long forgotten by the 20th of January -, this year I am looking at it a bit differently.

I think it may not be totally unrelated to how much the last 18 months have shaken a lot of my beliefs and ways of going about my life, but in any case this time around I am quite excited about the opportunity to start afresh and stick to an improved routine.

Whilst I admire anyone with a long list of new year's resolutions, as a beginner resolutioner I have come up with just three. The first one is to become fitter and healthier. Lately I've been so stressed out and tired that I've had a tendency to comfort eat and forego my usual workouts. I have felt that my health has suffered in the process and I need to change this radically from now on. Now don't get scared, I'm not a crazy January detoxer,....

First, I'm simply going to stick to some basic nutrition tips I've picked up along the years:
1) Drink the juice of half a lemon diluted in hot water (no sugar) first thing in the morning and last thing at night: this will help rid me of the toxines a little quicker
2) Drink at least one large bottle of Evian everyday: did I just hear "Nothing new Einstein"? I know this is pretty basic but it's not so easy to stick to it...
3) Eat fatty fishies at least once a day
4) Focus on greens and sneer at carbs
5) Detox on green grapes, peppermint capsules and aloe vera juice on week-ends

The vow to become healthier also means finding the way back to my favourite workout spots. I absolutely loathe gyms with their threadmills and cross-trainers which remind me of hamster wheels. I don't really find it particularly interesting to run with no aim on a machine. Instead, I will be going back to three activities I truly enjoy: Bikram Yoga, Lotte Berk, and Climbing.

Bikram Yoga to me is more exciting than other types of yoga, it is my way to get a cardio workout in without noticing; I'll be going back to the Old Street studio and I'm sure that after a couple of 90-minute sessions I'll see the benefits which I usually get here (more supple limbs, clearer complexion, and easier digestion). I tend to go there on friday evenings, especially in January, when the other sessions are filled with other resolution-takers (especially the 8pm sessions on tuesdays!).
Bikram Yoga City
6/8 Vestry Street
London N1
0 207 336 6339
http://www.bikramyoga.co.uk/home.html

At Lotte Berk, the exercises are based on modern dance, yoga, and physiotherapy, and help improve body shape and flexibility. The session focuses on the tummy, bottom, thighs and arms, as well as stretching. I love the week-end sessions when the teachers are truly fantastic characters (Tara, Laurianne and Rob are my favourite). There is never more than 12 people per session so you get a lot of attention from the teacher, which is great as you improve very quickly as a result.
The Lotte Berk Studio
465 Fulham Road
London SW6
0 207 385 2477
http://www.lotteberk.co.uk/

Finally, I will be going more regularly to my climbing sessions at the Westway centre. As a child I had compulsory climbing classes at the school climbing walls and I remember being totally petrified by fear every time. I decided to give climbing another try last year and for some reason most of the fear is gone, leaving just the exciting feeling of achieving a challenge everytime I complete a wall without cheating on the colours! I love that this is a sport that works on my arms and back, two areas that I've always found it extremely difficult to tone.
Westway Sports Centre
1 Crowthorne Road
London W10
0 208 969 0992
http://www.westwaysportscentre.org.uk/

Given how often I've been ill last year it is crucial that I improve my health routine, let's see if I manage to stop work eating into my personal schedule!

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