Winter has a bad reputation when it comes to health & wellness. There’s less daylight each day so we spend less time outside, and more time snuggled up on the couch with Netflix and a jar of Nutella. (maybe that’s just me!) The lack of sunshine not only affects how active we are but also has huge effect on our mood too. Most of us over indulge at Christmas time on festive foods, Prosecco and endless amounts of chocolate. Then the New Year starts and we’re hibernate in chunky knitwear, searching online for flights to the sun, and it seems even colder at home without the Christmas tree lights.
Okay, so it might not seem like the most inspiring time of the year but as an eternal optimist, here is my guide to feeling great this winter.
Resolutions – It’s February, time to revisit those resolutions. Be positive! Instead of making a list of things that you’re going to give up, instead create a list of things that you ARE going to do. Read more, visit friends, got to bed earlier etc
When we write a list of things to give up it feels like a punishment, making a list of positive resolutions is more fun & you’re more likely to want to stick to it.
Muddy Miles – I’ve decided to accept that winter training outside ain’t going to be glamorous. The reality is that sometimes you will get wet & muddy and your toes may go numb from time to time, but when you’re out running along a riverside in the morning and the sun comes up, it looks so beautiful! It’s worth a little bit of mud. If you’re an after work runner, try joining a running group to motivate you to get out there. The London Midnight Runners have weekly runs and training sessions, (not all at midnight). Their sessions are fuelled by endorphins, high fives and a bunch of awesome people that all love to run, come rain or shine.
Breathe – I love going to yoga classes, I always leave the mat feeling warmer both inside and out. You don’t need to jet off to a yogi retreat in Bali, although that would be nice right!?, after a good yoga class you’ll feel uplifted, inspired and ready to ditch those thermal socks. Yoga is not just about the physical practice, it’s also a great way to get some headspace, to relax and to have some time for yourself. Time away from your phone, your emails, work etc It’s not just for us girls either, lots of guys are now turning to yoga as a way of improving their core strength, posture and overall health. Or maybe it’s just a great place to meet a date. Impressively, I once saw I a guy chatting up a girl whilst in downward facing dog!
Here are three of my favourite yoga teachers . . .
Stephanie Pena – Gracefulbowyoga.com
Stephanie is a wonderful yoga teacher that will uplift and encourage you every step of the way. She teaches a variety of classes in Surrey & Berkshire, including Yoga for athletes at Locker 27, Spokes of Bagshot, as well as SUP yoga and also private one to one classes. Head to Stephanie’s website for more info & class timetable.
Jessica Skye – Fatbuddhayoga.com
Jessica is a DJ, NIKE trainer and all round yoga babe. She teaches classes in London. I recently went to Jessica’s ‘Release’ class, great for a bit of chill out in the centre of the busy city.
Steffy White – Steffyoga.com
Steffy’s energy is contagious. Her classes are challenging and I hear that she’s launching a Youtube channel so we can practice with Steffy at home. Ace!
Eat – Don’t be tempted to embark upon a new year diet, cleanse or detox. Yo-yo dieting or excluding food groups is not only bad for your health but it’s also really boring! Food should be enjoyed! Get some healthy inspiration from instagram foodies like, @clean_eating_alice, @hemsleyhemsley, & @calgaryavansino
Rest – We all have busy lives, work, kids, emails, tweets, texts etc !!!! It’s hard to find time to rest, relax and recover. Carve out some time in your diary for doing absolutely nothing. The Italians call it ‘Dolce Far Niente’, it means ‘sweet doing nothing’ or pleasant idleness. If you find it hard to switch off, try going for a walk, have a long bath or book a massage. I’m trying to go to bed 3o mins earlier each night too.
So, I guess winter doesn’t have to be so bad . . . and it’s starting to feel like spring is just around the corner!