How I kicked started my new year

Getting back into healthy living after a week of Christmas indulgences can be quite a challenge, even for me.

By the 5th January, few things had been crossed off my New Year's resolution list, and my running was going nowhere fast. Feeling a bit deflated, I entered a 10 mile race, totally on a whim, for the following day in Tadworth.

I hadn't exactly trained for it, so decided to run for "fun" rather than a particular time. I just took in the scenery and enjoyed the race (although a couple of sadistic hills were a bit more than I'd bargained for!).

It's got me back into enjoying running again, consequentially kick starting my healthy eating habits and a few of my other resolutions are now falling into place too.

I've learnt two things from this. Firstly, races are a good way to get some millage done, and you don't have to always run them hard.

Secondly, putting yourself under too much pressure to achieve something can actually have the opposite effect, and dull your enthusiasm rather than inspiring and driving you. Schedules and targets are great for keeping you on the right track, but sometimes it's good to just screw them up and do something different. By taking the pressure off, you can take more pleasure in what you are doing, and are therefore more likely to go out and do it again.

Finally, exercise doesn't always have to be in a structured, pre-planned format. Try thinking of something different to do like ice skating, kite flying, horse riding, indoor climbing, cycling, or just offer to take the neighbour's dog for a walk.

Here's a few ideas to get you started:

Somerset House Ice ring:
Rollerblading lessons:
Horse riding lessons:
Indoor climbing:
Runners World event listings:

Posted by Heather Waghorn.