January is the month for hunkering down. Yes, you read that right.

Not the month for starting a diet, a new fitness habit or committing to a challenge, which is why so many health intentions and resolutions are never kept.

Because it’s actually the month to hibernate.

The month when you (well, we) should be resting and rejuvenating, just like the seasons. A time for slowing down, not speeding up, starting something new or forcing yourself back into the Lycra.

It is why continuing to exercise or work out over the festive period helps. Meaning instead of restarting, you are continuing with what you do in a way that fits the season and the weather.

Of course, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have health and fitness aspirations for the year ahead. Quite the opposite.

But instead of throwing yourself all in and keeping your fingers crossed that you are still running, working out or going to the gym by Valentine’s Day. I’m suggesting you give yourself a break and be kind to yourself. Perhaps meditate or try some gentle exercise like yoga or Pilates to keep those muscles supple and movement that little bit easier.

Use this month to prepare your body for returning to exercise, training, and achieving your 2023 health goal. So, for now, and because at the heart of exercising is raising your heart rate, perhaps walk a little more.

Walk on a Sunday before lunch, for example, on the beach or around your local park. Walk with a friend and catch up to keep the cold at bay. Breathe in the cold air, experience the joy of frost on the ground and trees – take a softer approach to your exercise.

Make January the month to prepare.

Start by clearing the decks and clearing out the garage or spare room. Next, sort your clothes and take them to the charity shop.

I don’t know about you, but I always find a stray box of mince pies, so find and remove out-of-date food and anything left over from Christmas – use it if you can. Also, check the date on your toiletries, especially suntan lotion!

Take a good look at your sport and fitness clothing and get it washed, so it’s ready for when you need it. How long have you really had those running or golf shoes? Is it time to replace them?

January is the perfect time for preparing for warmer and longer days when you WILL want to run, cycle, golf or exercise.

Choose your health and fitness goals.

Maybe you think you would benefit from working with a personal trainer; start asking for recommendations. Or perhaps you are warming to the thought of gym membership and accessing various classes, using a pool – the support and community this will provide you. Again, ask for recommendations and try one out.

Want to try something completely new, then start researching.

If you are deciding on a BIG challenge, like running a half or full marathon, hit the internet. Find training programmes, so you know what training will look like, when you need to start, etc.

Finally, and this is where we come in.

If you’ve an old ache, pain or injury – now is the perfect time to come and see us. Call 01722 415 055 to make an appointment. And remember to tell us about your health and fitness goals so we can help you prepare.