As the sun shone on Sunday, a herd of runners pounded past me on the Heath. Mens sana in corpore sano, a healthy mind in a healthy body is promoted to the top of the agenda in the new year. If a luxury boot camp (here are Lonely planet’s top picks) is a step too far, then there are plenty of ways available to reboot and reinvigorate mind, body and soul closer to home.
Don’t fall into the trap of signing up to annual gym membership, the National Trust’s website has plenty of advice for the outdoor gym, (see picture). There are tips to get you started, videos and a 31 day plan. Not only is the outdoor gym free, but you’re more than likely to get a healthy glow from vitamin D, work harder on uneven natural surfaces, and burn 20percent more calories as a result.
Healthy body on the outside generally follows a healthy body on the inside, so have a look at the Eden Project’s list of ‘Seven foods to help fight those January blues’. Drink nettle tea (pictured), which is surprisingly refreshing, if slightly grassy, and eat all the colours of a rainbow. If you need a little inspiration on how to prepare your super foods, or enliven your diet, try a raw food course at Nama Foods. At the end of the month they are running a fermentation workshop, not beer but sparkling drinks for all the family.
Detoxing is more than a physiological process, it is also a mental one. Detoxification is letting go of the old, and releasing what no longer serves you, whether clutter in your home or patterns of behaviour. Clearing away the old stories to make way for the new.
What will be the your inspiration? A new skill? All around the country the National Trust runs a wide range of courses and workshops from hedge laying and drystone walling, to photography and painting. Check the events pages at your local museum or craft centre. In London, the Victoria and Albert Museum run a varied mix of workshops, or try Kew Gardens for a one day course to grow orchids successfully at home and bring a bit of tropical colour indoors.
You could refresh a room at home. Elizabeth Cake, author of ‘Make Your Own Lampshades’, runs workshops to make lampshades (the next is with the How to Academy on 4th February). A screen print made at a workshop with the Print Club London to frame your new year’s manifesto? Take it further and hand print your own wallpaper at the Papered Parlour later this month. Or learn about furniture restoration, reupholstery or repainting, with Goodlife Centre. There is even an Introduction to Rag Rugs, if your toes feel a bit chilly when you hop out of bed in the morning!
Picture credits: National Trust, Eden Project, Victoria and Albert Museum website