New Year – New Movement?


Happy 2023!

The new year is a time of renewed energy and a sense of new beginnings.  As we kick off 2023, it got me thinking about how I could help my clients to channel all of that positive energy into making an impact on our physical and mental well-being.  If we listen to the media, there may be some rocky times ahead in 2023, with potential stress growing around finances, the economy and rising costs of living.  Exercise can make a real difference in helping us to manage our mood and helping us to cope with stress.  Now is a great time to plan our exercise for the year ahead and decide what we wish to achieve over the next 12 months.

Reflecting on 2022

Before we look forward, a good place to start is to reflect on the year just past.  If we think about 2022, what do we think went well?  What was fun last year?  Why?  Did it have a positive impact on your health?  Can you do more of this activity in 2023?

To help you get started here are some of my reflections for 2022.  One of my hobbies is kayaking, in 2021, I got my own kayak. I not only find that the feeling of being out on the water is so exhilarating and relaxing at the same time, but the benefits to me physically are that it helps me to build up my upper body strength and core. I had hoped to get out on the river more often in 2022, but we then had a really hot summer, and I found myself wanting to stay cool in the shade.  Being a PT out in the heat all day, keeping clients sane and motivated, was rewarding but energy-sapping at the same time.  I did not prioritise kayaking, which was a learning for me. For 2023 I’m going to start booking time in my diary with my friends to spend on the river. It ticks a mental health and physical box for me of how I want to feel in 2023.

Looking forward into 2023

What do you want your year to be about? What things are you carrying over from 2022?  And what new activities do you want to try? Do you think these activities will boost you or drain you? You might not know yet but imagine how you want to feel after or during. Do you want to feel instantly energised or relaxed and find activities to try that foster these feelings?

Some ideas to get you thinking.

If you are keen to feel more exhilarated? Here are some ideas that might give you an adrenalin rush while doing exercise.  Rock climbing is perfect for building upper body strength, but not so good if, like me, you aren’t keen on heights.  Bouldering is another climbing-related activity but is a bit closer to the ground, and the focus is on climbing sideways rather than up.  Movements like treetop challenges where you clamber around a tree top course and zip line back down.  Skiing and snowboarding offer a fun form of exercise and some stunning views! Velodrome cycling is also offered at several sites since the 2012 Olympics.

If it is the feeling of being determined and stronger, you are seeking in 2023? Have you ever tried strength training, Olympic bar training or endurance running and obstacle courses like Tough Mudder or Nuclear Races.

If you are looking to feel more flexible and mobile, why not try,  yoga, Pilates or mobility workshops?

If you would like to introduce more relaxation into your week as well as activities that also increase your strength, mobility and flexibility, there are lots of options.  Try activities like yoga, Pilates, walking or mobility workshops that can help you learn more about this.  If you are looking for an activity which is both relaxing and strength-building, have you considered steady-paced water-based activities like paddle boarding or kayaking?

Team camaraderie – there are lots of adult team sports that you might have loved at school that you could get involved with and, in some cases, slightly less competitive.  There are even some slightly lower impact or walking versions like walking basketball, walking netball or touch rugby if you are concerned about injury and the impact on your joints.

Making it happen in 2023.

Once you’ve decided on what you would like your exercise routine to look like in 2023, think about how you can keep yourself accountable and committed.  Perhaps you could try them with a friend?  Take this time now to seize the moment and book your first session.  The only limitation is our imagination.  There may be barriers and blockers along the way, and of course, if you would like some help sticking to your exercise goals, please reach out for a chat!

Go for it, and let me know how you get on!

Sara McDonnell

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