Get Fit - The Muswell Hill Way!
By Chris Hirons on 9 February 2012
No doubt many of you made a quiet promise to yourselves that you would kick-off the new year by eating nothing but carrots and exercising twice a day - well how is it going? Anybody still keeping up the New Year’s resolutions? Managed to fit into those skinny jeans yet?All is not lost. There is a happy middle ground between our high self-expectation and the realities of daily life. As a local resident I’ve developed a number of ways you guys can utilise Muswell Hill’s shops and hilly contours to help achieve and improve your state of health, fitness and well-being. Hopefully these suggestions can help you shake off the February blues, improve your health, give you more energy – and do it all without having to spend a fortune!
Get the gear!
Good kit makes a difference. A decent pair of running trainers is a particular essential. You don’t have to splash out huge amounts of money: £30-35 can buy you what you need. Inappropriate training shoes can quickly lead to discomfort and even injury which could stop you in your tracks … quite literally.
If you do have the cash to splash and want to approach exercise head on, invest in some additional gear such as training tops, thermals and a heart rate monitor. You may find that the more money you put in, the less inclined you’ll be to “give it a miss”, and the more committed you’ll be to incorporating exercise into your weekly routine. Sportsdirect.com in the Friern Barnet Retail Park has an excellent range of training clothing and footwear to suit all budgets and is only a short bus ride (or run?!) away.
Get to the Gym!
Given the current economic climate and the looming post-Christmas financial hangover, it is understandable that signing up to a lengthy gym contract at around £50 a month could be a little steep. But there are options
Fitshape Personal Training Gym on Alexandra Park Road offers a range of group activities to suit everyone, from sports such as football and rugby for all ages and abilities, to group circuit training and holistic classes like Ashtanga yoga. These activities are available on a pay-as-you-participate basis and are easy on the pocket. It is also a great way to meet new likeminded people looking to get in shape.
Get up those Hills!
What’s in a name? When it’s Muswell Hill and we’re talking about getting fit quite a lot. Hill training is an excellent form of cardiovascular exercise that will help your heart pump more efficiently, prevent heat disease, burn fat and get the endorphins flowing. All the good stuff.
The incline is also excellent for toning your quadriceps (front of thighs) and calves. 20-25 mins of exercise, 3 times a week is recommended for positive physical adaptation. If jogging or running is too much for you to begin with, brisk walking will still produce beneficial effects. The hill you decide to use is up to you but if like me you are a Muswell Hill resident, there is sure to be one nearby!
Get it in your Gob!
It is essential that exercise is complimented with a healthy diet. If you come back from your run and binge on cake then it has all been a waste of time. There are plenty of places to buy good, healthy food in Muswell Hill. My personal recommendation in Owen’s Foodstore on Alexandra Park Road, a lovely food emporium that’s deservedly proved a hit with local residents. Owen’s promotes healthy eating by encouraging the use of seasonal and organic produce which has a higher nutritional value and fuller flavor.
The traders of the farmers market pitch up at Alexandra palace every Sunday and are another supplier of well sourced, seasonal fruit and vegetables, so why not stock up here every week instead of the local Sainsbos?
I hope the above shows you that you don’t need to make extravagant lifestyle changes and fork out loads of money to improve your general health. Start the new year with small adaptations, if you try to change too much too soon you may set yourself up to fail and you’ll be less likely to try again. Everything you need to succeed can be found in Muswell Hill so why not make 2012 the year of good health!