SEPTEMBER, A MONTH TO REBOOT
September is the new January. We may not be students anymore, picking up new textbooks and stationary for the year ahead. Nevertheless we’re conditioned from our upbringings to view September as a kind of “new beginning”. I don’t know about you, but summer is just as much about excess as the holiday season. The warm weather makes us stay out longer and more often, standing outside pubs with our drinks in hand. Summer’s when we go off on party holidays to the islands—Ibiza, Mykonos and Sardinia. All day tanning, sipping cocktails by the pool and killing it on dance floors make summer so irresistible but it takes its toll.
So the arrival of autumn is a welcome reprieve, a time to slow down. Get healthy and prepare for the upcoming winter. We’ve gathered the latest in health and fitness and “self improvement” to help you get refreshed and renewed this September.
It’s a scientific fact that working out makes us feel better. When you exercise your brain releases dopamine, the same chemical it releases when you fall in love. If you’ve tried exercising before and hated it. Chances are, you’re doing the wrong sort of exercise! Just like dating, you’re not going to hit it off with every single exercise method out there. Find out what you like by trying different things and you’ll actually enjoy getting a sweat going.
Don’t feel like you have to jump on the latest “fitness crazes”, if you’re not a runner or a spinner, go try aeroyoga or dancefit, enjoying your workout will ensure you do it consistently, which is so much more important than “amount of calories burnt in a single session”.
For newbies in working out, Frame is a great studio that offers everything from yoga, pilates, dance to HIIT (high intensity interval training) and cardio classes. Always set to a high tempo dance music, the classes are fun and are suitable for fitness novices. They currently have studios in Shoreditch and Queens Park, but a new studio is opening in Soho soon.
For those that like to work out at home, we’ve tried yogaglo.com and love that for 18 USD/month (11 pounds) you get more than 3000 yoga classes you can do at home. You’ll find everything from vinyasa to hatha yoga on there. The videos are incredibly clever, there’s a teacher at the front of the room and there are other students present, so it actually feels like you’re in a class, but in the comfort of your own home and on your schedule. This is particularly useful for those who need to stay at home or do not have yoga classes near them.
If you’ve always exercised for a while but have hit a plateau, think about going to Barry’s Bootcamp (http://www.barrysbootcamp.com). Everyday of the week is dedicated to different body parts: Mondays are arms and abs, Tuesdays (our favourite) is legs and bum, Wednesday is chest back & abs etc. All classes are an hour long. You spend half the class on the treadmill and the other half on the floor with weights or doing body weight exercises. You can also opt to do the whole class on the floor (that’s the double floor option). The classes are intense and you’ll guaranteed be sore after but you will feel so good after each class that you’ll probably keep going back for more.
Cut the Crap
Nothing will reinvigorate you faster and more noticeably than a clean up in diet. How you look and feel is 80% diet and 20% exercise. If you’ve spent the summer eating out and drinking loads, chances are you will be a bit bloated and in dire need of a detox. We don’t advocate anything drastic, but a simple elimination of wheat and sugar will help you look and feel lighter within days. We’ve all heard how bad sugar is, but what mainstream media neglect to tell you is that wheat is just as bad, perhaps it’s all the advertising these companies pay for. But wheat is sugar (it’s a carbohydrate) and is highly addictive. Cutting out sugary cereals in the morning (have eggs instead), pasta and bread will give you lots more energy and clearer skin.
All Hail Greens
We all know we need to be eating greens but how much is enough? Is it 5 a day? In truth, you need way more than that to support a healthy body. Eat as varied amount of veg as you can. As different vegetables bring different nutritional values to you. If you eat seasonally (check out eattheseasons.co.uk), eating veg isn’t expensive. Don’t over look the humble spud either. Starch has been vilified in recent years, but we all need it daily for optimum health, including rice and winter squashes. You’ll find that eating a bit more starch in your diet will make you feel fuller for longer and will control your cravings for sweets and chocolate.
If you’re into juicing, our go to recipe for detox is beetroot juice. Beetroot is a tough veg to like but once you’ve gotten used to its earthiness, you’ll discover it’s got a sweet side to it, especially when it’s juiced. It’s a super food in terms of detox because it’s incredibly good at getting rid of toxins by purifying the blood and absorbing heavy metals.
1 fennel bulb
3 celery sticks
handful of lettuce leaves
a small knob of ginger
Becoming a better person
Einstein put it eloquently “wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it” Learning new things enrich us and a really fun way to do it is going to classes at the School of Life. Founded by Alain de Botton, the school hosts classes on stuff that you WANT to learn about, such as How to make love last, How to have better conversations and How to realise your potential. I have personally attended all these classes so can vouch for their insightfulness and benefit. There are also business classes now such as How to work with difficult people, Networking for people who don’t like networking and Communicate better at work. Classes are small, around 20-30 people in the class and open dialogue is encouraged. It’s a chance to meet like-minded people and have a good honest conversation about whatever topic that’s brought you together.