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Improve mind and body in 2018

24th January 2018 Print

Sticking to New Year’s resolutions is one of the hardest tasks for many of us. Despite a burning desire to get fit, eat healthily and make the year stand out any way we can, most of us fail our New Year’s resolutions by February. So, how do we start a quest for self-improvement and keep it up throughout 2018? 

To give you guidance on creating the perfect New Year’s resolution that you can stick to, check out these methods for boosting mind, mood and body that don’t solely revolve around sensible eating and joining a gym! 

Making the most of family time

If you’re feeling bad about not spending enough time at home, why not make 2018 the year for change? 

And to make up for last year’s poor performance, replace trips to the park or cinema with your partner for more exciting excursions! Kayak down your nearest river, climb Ben Nevis, go whale-watching, hike through a national park, or do a sponsored abseil. Big events give your family a collective goal to achieve, which means you get to train and prepare together, as well as make a long-lasting memory at the end. 

If you need convincing, just look at the research collected by New York University and in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, which show that single people have a higher risk of developing dementia and married people suffer less from cardiovascular disease than singletons!  

Breaking a world record 

If you’re feeling really adventurous, why not try smashing a world record and get your name in the Guinness World Record book?  

You may have read about a recent example, which was the world record for most people to play the same tune on a single piano — if you did, you’ll understand that there’s a world of opportunity when it comes to breaking a world record. Search online for exercises that have already been done and get practicing!

Assessing your job

Unhappy in your role? Think it could be better? Then do something about in 2018. Many people switch jobs due to dissatisfaction or uncertainty, so take the start of this year to evaluate how you feel about your position — and if unhappy, make changes!

If you feel you need a creative outlet for some of your ideas, start a blog using Wordpress — there are plenty of how-to guides and SEO-related articles to help you get your voice heard online. How about climbing the career ladder? Search for relevant courses and ask for external training from your HR department to increase your chances of promotion. Or is it company morale that’s getting you down? Corporate days out are growing massively in popularity, so suggest a team-building trip somewhere to lift everyone’s spirits. Sports venues are particularly good for getting people working together in a fun, relaxed environment. 

Maybe you’re delighted with your job, but just think it could be a little better in places. If so, re-decorate your office or desk, arrange a night out with your team or organise Friday afternoon quizzes to boost spirits!  

Trying a new sport

One of the biggest obstacles when it comes to getting fit and working out has to be the monotony of your average, UK gym. But what if you choose a different get-fit path? 

The key to working out is to not realise you’re doing it — and adrenaline-pumping activities, like snow sports, are great for this. Fast, fun and intense, there are plenty of indoor slopes and skiing lessons available to help you challenge yourself and become a pro in 2018. 

Unsure whether skiing and snowboarding is for you? Take a look at some work-out facts: an average adult can burn between 250 and 630 calories every hour while skiing or snowboarding, and the exercise tests your balance and works all your major muscle groups to help you tone up quickly. What’s more, sports like these also encourage your body to release endorphins — which are neurochemicals that create a feeling of happiness and lower stress — while a study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, showed that regular exercise reduced the chances of developing depression.  

Sampling global cuisines   

Aside from exercise, sticking to a new diet is also a tricky New Year’s resolution to keep up — possibly because we replace our favourite foods with bland alternatives. 

Get around this mistake by introducing global tastes! Each week, incorporate at least three healthy ingredients from across the world to make meals interesting and prevent you from losing focus. For example; harissa, a chili paste from northern Africa, is believed to have cancer-protective qualities and tastes great in soups, while lucuma (from Peru) makes a perfect snack and contains carotene that can reportedly reduce the effects of ageing. For breakfast, put some chia seeds in your porridge — this food comes from Mexico and offers a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids! 

Choose you favourite New Year’s resolution from the list above or pick a few and see which ones you prefer to make 2018 a stand-out year.