Attempting to keep fit, happy and healthy amidst the hum-drum of daily life can seem like an impossible task, especially if you’re a parent, but in reality, it’s one of the best things we can do for ourselves and our families.
If you need a little boost in the right direction, here’s some tips to help put a spring in your step over the coming year.
Exercise doesn’t have to be painful!
Don’t make the mistake of thinking exercise has to be full-throttle and that to make a difference you have to be pounding the treadmill till you hurt all over. Be honest with yourself – if you really hate going to the gym, don’t take out costly membership again this year – find an alternative. Remember you should aim to fit in just 30 minutes a day of some kind of physical activity – this can even include doing the housework!
Find out about a range of exercise classes in your area – how about trying Zumba, Pilates or Yoga, for example. Or you could look at ways to make exercise more integral to the whole family’s lifestyle, by taking up walking or cycling.
Do something different – just for you
If you’re guilty of using any spare time you have to do housework, shopping or other tasks, make this year the year your resolve to set aside some time each week just for you. Ideally, remove yourself from distractions at home and ensure other family members know that this time out is non-negotiable. Why not use this time to try something new? Learning a new skill or rediscovering your love for something is good for the soul,and can boost self-esteem. Singing, for example, carries a whole raft of health benefits, keeping your heart healthy, reducing stress and increasing alertness.
Or you could lose yourself in something creative – jewellery making, flower arranging, cake decorating or drawing, for example, a great way to discover your hidden talents.
Friends are important
Seeing each other for coffee or chatting on the phone is not a luxury – studies have proven that having a close circle of friends is good for your health. But the hectic pace of modern life, and the fact that many of us move around the country more frequently means it can be hard to stay in touch. Try and make time for that phone call or email, just to keep in touch and say ‘hi’.
Perhaps you and your girlfriends can set aside one day in the year for a girly get-together – try and arrange this in good time so everyone can make the necessary arrangements. You could hit a spa together, or meet up at a smart hotel or restaurant for a leisurely afternoon tea!
Give your wardrobe a work-out..
Capitalise on the January sales by doing a wardrobe audit and filling the gaps with some well-considered, bargain purchases. Sale shopping can be fashion minefield, so before you hit the shops have a long hard think about what you really need to update your wardrobe.
Well-cut, shape-flattering clothes have tranformative powers so start the year in style – find tips to help you make good purchases, whether you need to start from the foundations with some new bras, or you’re not sure how to dress for your body shape.
..And update your make-up and hair
Like figure-flattering clothes, well-chosen make-up and a good hair-cut can make a huge difference, and don’t have to come with a hefty price tag. Many of us shy away from changing our look, but just a subtle revamp – say, cutting a wispy fringe into your hair, or swapping poker-straight locks for gently tousled – can ‘re-energise’ your look. You can get both salon-style and real-life hair inspiration in my easy everyday hairstyle anyone can achieve, or browse through my hairstyle category for styles and get ideas before you hit the salon.
We also have fab beauty tips & posts packed with expert tips and advice to help you achieve a polished look – and you don’t have to have endless amounts of time or technical know-how to do so. If personal grooming is a luxury you’re not sure you can afford, be sure to sign up to your local Groupon for fantastic beauty offers from salons near you!
Give running a go
The pros: it’s free, it’s convenient, and you get some fresh air while getting a fantastic workout.
The cons: for running ‘virgins’ this activity can seem a bit scary and many people worry they won’t be able to do it. The key to running is to build up slowly
Alternatively there may be a Ladies running club in your area, a good way to keep your motivation going and to meet other amateur runners – check your local listings to see what’s available.
Don’t let life pass you by
Easier said than done, we know, but try and avoid getting into a rut, which can be demoralising and sap your energy. Procrastination is something we’re all guilty of, but grab the bull by the horns when you can – book that bargain weekend away with the kids, do something spontaneous from time to time, change your daily routine (even if it’s just walking home from school a different way), take up that offer of babysitting so you and your partner can go to the cinema and watch that film you’ve been dying to see, spice up your love life with your partner and try out these 100 sex positions or The Frisky Girls to do list.…
Sometimes it’s good to ‘feel the fear’ and do something that you’d normally say no to – attending a job interview, putting yourself forward as class rep or hitting the rollercoasters at Alton Towers! You’ll rarely regret these life experiences.
Single?? …Have a go at the Single Girls To Do List