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Wednesday 5th January 2011

The New Year brings fresh starts in all areas of our lives. Let’s do it right this time.

Take for instance the popular resolution to get fit. The trick to sticking with it, according to Mindful Movement’s Sumita Balooja, is “finding something that you enjoy, first and foremost, and something that is suited to your level of fitness.” The latter, she added, requires assessing your current state of fitness – which is where professionals like her come in – and exploring what best suits you and working that into your lifestyle. No need to hit the ground running, as they say, sometimes endurance is to be found in gradually getting yourself into it; then, Sumita said, keeping it interesting and keeping yourself motivated by, “doing different things that challenge your body.”

She and her team at Xtreme Fitness – the new gym on the second floor of the Bryson’s building on Friar’s Hill – will be helping clients do just that with fitness classes (Pilates to kick boxing), nutrition counseling, chiropractic services, massage therapy, a sauna facility and much, much more.

“One of the things that happens when you exercise, you produce endorphins which is the natural feel good drug,” said Sumita, “(so) engaging in activity for at least 20 minutes or more (per day), your body is naturally producing hormones that make you feel better, feel happier, have more energy.”

Now that sounds like something worth striving for; with the proviso that your current state of fitness, or lack thereof, did not happen overnight and neither will its reversal. “It takes time, so you know that you have to stick with it,” said Sumita, adding that yes there will be back sliding but the thing is not to be too hard on yourself. “Set simple goals and go from month to month.”
The same principle applies to reducing stress, the other monkey people try to get off their back as the clock winds down on Old Year’s Night and the fireworks explode ringing in the New Year.  Though, Petra Frisell, life coach with the Compass Rose Coaching Group, makes the point that January 1st holds no particular magic. “We have a tendency to set resolutions for the New Year because we want to start afresh, (but) those kinds of changes can occur at any time,” she said.

Still, this is the time of year people tend to resolve to get moving, so …in the interest of goal setting, we asked her for some short term stress busters – with the understanding that more personalized life coaching may be required. Her function can perhaps be summed up as helping you get unstuck, helping you become who you want to be “as opposed to what others expect you to be.”

After all, isn’t the pressure of expectation among our bigger stressors?
One key to shaking the stress, especially for women, is learning to say “NO”. And, Petra said, there’re ways to do it without being perceived as selfish, such as bargaining – i.e. “I do not have the time to do that right now but…”

And, she suggested, that the assumption that we’re being perceived as selfish often comes from us, anyway; “there’s nobody who abuses us as much as we abuse ourselves.” Bottom line, it’s okay to make ourselves a priority.
Like Sumita, she suggested taking it – whatever the big it that we’re resolved to change in our lives is – one step at a time.

She reminded as well that it’s okay to cry; “crying is nature’s way of releasing stress, it’s actually a very healthy (thing).” Deep breathing is also good for releasing anxiety, as are exercise and a proper diet; though perhaps most powerful is taking the time to examine what’s causing the stress, taking time for self – something we’re maybe not culturally conditioned to do but which can go a long way towards helping us live our best lives.
Feel motivated, yet?

Get clicking and search our site for fitness and relaxation services (yoga to spa treatments), activities (swimming to hiking), or hobbies and time-outs (clubs to skill building) that will not only get you moving but have you wearing a new smile but feeling happy inside-out..

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