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Fitness and wellness in London

After a fairly over-indulgent summer holiday, you might be feeling a little bit sluggish, or perhaps even nursing a case of ‘holiday blues’ as you go about getting back into a normal routine. It can be a harsh snap back into reality when after two weeks of all-inclusive drink and food, you’re back home and having to fix your own meals, and even make your own cup of coffee. If you’re starting to become full of dread at the thought of squeezing back into your work clothes, then perhaps it might be an opportune time to re-assess your health and well-being and make some lifestyle changes.

Living in cosmopolitan London can often equal a hectic lifestyle, and with work life, a social life and a family life to balance, it can be tricky to eat properly let alone healthily. However, this is a key element to all-round good health and well-being, so it is important to try, where possible, to adopt a healthy diet. There are small changes you can make to your day to day eating habits that could really make a difference- even something as simple as swapping a fizzy drink throughout the day for a fresh orange juice can help to support your immune system whilst also giving you a dose of vitamin C.  Alternatively swap your morning coffee for a nutritious smoothie, which will enable you to get 2 of your 5 a day even before you’ve left the house. Having a nutritious breakfast can really help to set you off to a great start for the day, and you’ll reap the rewards with boundless energy that you would be lacking otherwise.

The big area to address when trying to promote own well-being though, is exercise, as not only will it help to condition and strengthen your body, but it will also help you to channel irritation or frustrations out so that you will be left feeling positive. London has so many fitness facilities available so there is bound to be one that’s suited to you, whether that’s a gym, a swimming pool, cycling or even a fitness class.

If you have a health club local to where you live, then this is usually a very good place to start. Not only will you be offered an induction to find out how to use the gym equipment properly, but you’ll also be able to pay for your membership monthly so that you won’t have to fork out a huge lump sum even before you begin. Health clubs also have a pool and spa facility, so you can choose whether you gym, swim or both!

Some health clubs offer a bespoke personal trainer service, where you can book in for either a one-off, or a block of sessions, with a special trainer who will be extremely clued up on nutrition and fitness, and can assist you in achieving your personal goals. This is a useful aid if you sometimes lack motivation when in the gym, as your personal trainer will keep you on track and advise which exercises will help to give you the definition and shape that you require, whilst also building strength. Exercise not only helps to keep you in shape, but also promotes good mental health too, as when you exercise, your body releases endorphins which have been dubbed the ‘happy hormone’- perhaps that’s why we always feel so energised and happy after a good hour in the gym.

Many London hotels also boast in-house health suites that promote well-being, so if you live locally to one, then you are in luck. Think state of the art gym equipment, decadent changing areas and a quiet pool and spa area and you’ll be close to what it feels like working out in luxury. The Montcalm is one such hotel, offering the chance to work your muscles hard, swimming in the exclusive pool before taking a well-earned rest in the sauna to relieve any aches and pains, it is spa body treatments in London at its best.

Of course, it’s not just exercise and healthy eating that you should make time for, but scheduling a healthy amount of ‘down time’ to look after your emotional state is imperative too. Try to make sure that you take a couple of hours a week to unwind by doing something that you enjoy, whether that’s taking a walk, doing a crossword or simply taking an extra-long bath. Doing this each week can help to relieve tension and keep your stress levels to a minimum. If you have both the time, and budget, a spa day can be a brilliant antidote to day to day stresses and strains. It’s a day of decadence and indulgence and a time to leave your mobile phone at home whilst you switch off from your problems and focus on yourself. Nothing says relaxation like a spa facial treatment in London after a hectic work week, and after your treatment, be sure to make the most of the spa experience by fully utilising the pool area too. Consider taking a book along with you and shutting the world out as you let your mind wander and your body relax.

After your day at the spa, continue the relaxation at home with a soothing aromatherapy candle, simply light it whilst you run a hot bath with lavender essence for a truly indulgent end to your day of restoring your physical and emotional well-being.  Once you’ve gotten in an early night too, you’ll wake up totally refreshed and will be ready to take on the World. And, if it all starts to get a little too much again after a few weeks, simply log online and book another day of relaxing bliss. All that is left to do then is to count down the days until it’s time to be pampered again.

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