Just give it a try!

South Wales Evening Post - - FAMILY HEALTH -

WE’VE all heard it – and we’ve prob­a­bly all said it – ‘New year, new me’. And ev­ery­one’s think­ing the same thing. This will be the year we re­alise we have a hid­den tal­ent for long dis­tance run­ning. Or, this is the year the kids will sud­denly de­velop the abil­ity to pick up after them­selves and do as they’re told.

But the re­al­ity is, 2019 is sim­ply a new num­ber on the cal­en­dar. You don’t need to trans­form your­self into a new per­son in or­der to make a suc­cess of this new year.

In­stead of set­ting your­self im­pos­si­ble chal­lenges to ‘be­come’ some­one, or ‘some­thing’ new, why not set your­self a chal­lenge to try some­thing new?

Give some­thing fun and new a go and im­prove your health in 2019, sug­gests fit­ness ex­pert RUTH LYNCH


THE idea of box­ing may not ap­peal to ev­ery­one, but it’s one of the best work­outs you can do, no mat­ter what your age or level of abil­ity.

It’s a whole-body work­out, gets the heart pump­ing and builds flex­i­bil­ity and stamina, all while im­prov­ing your core strength and bal­ance.

With glam­orous celebri­ties such as Gigi Ha­did and El­lie Gould­ing cred­it­ing the ex­er­cise for their sculpted physiques, you prob­a­bly don’t need much more en­cour­age­ment to give it a go. The full-body work­out will help whip you into shape and help you tar­get any prob­lem ar­eas.

And with Tyson Fury’s spec­tac­u­lar re­turn to the ring in 2018, it shouldn’t be too difficult to get the kids in­volved ei­ther. There are plenty of kids’ clubs around – whether it’s box­ing or an­other form of mar­tial art – which will not only help with their fit­ness, but with their dis­ci­pline and con­fi­dence too.

Box­ing for fit­ness doesn’t have to take place in a ring, there are dozens of vari­a­tions which are non-con­tact. Box­er­cise, Box Fit and Box HIIT classes all in­cor­po­rate box­ing skills and moves with­out ac­tual phys­i­cal con­tact.

And let’s not for­get the huge sat­is­fac­tion which comes with throw­ing a punch – whether it’s at a bag or mitt, or into mid-air – which will be sure to help un­wind and com­bat fam­ily, life and work stress.


IF you get bored of one thing eas­ily, or you’ve done your fair share of 10ks but don’t like the idea of in­creas­ing your dis­tance, then a duathlon could be a great chal­lenge for you and your fam­ily.

A duathlon is a multi-sport event where you run, cy­cle, and then run again. The dis­tances for each leg vary de­pend­ing on the race.

It’s not a new dis­ci­pline, but it is be­com­ing more and more pop­u­lar and is hotly tipped as be­ing the ex­er­cise of choice for 2019.

With plenty of en­try-level races and clubs for all abil­i­ties, mul­ti­sport events are some­thing the whole fam­ily can get in­volved in.

Get­ting ac­tive to­gether means you’re more likely to keep it up and hav­ing you ex­er­cis­ing with them sets a good ex­am­ple to the kids.

There are more than a hun­dred duathlons set to take place in 2019, with many in­cor­po­rat­ing ju­nior events. If a bit of va­ri­ety will help con­cen­trate your fit­ness goals, or you’re look­ing for a fun chal­lenge the fam­ily can work to­wards to­gether, then a duathlon could be per­fect.

If you don’t fancy some­thing as in­tense as a duathlon, walk­ing, run­ning or get­ting out on your bikes are great ways to get the whole fam­ily’s hearts pump­ing while en­joy­ing some time to­gether.


EX­ER­CISE classes aren’t ex­actly a new thing, but they have seen a resur­gence in re­cent years, with more and more peo­ple recog­nis­ing the ad­van­tage of get­ting fit among their peers.

Peer pres­sure is a great mo­ti­va­tor to keep go­ing to classes and in­serts a bit of healthy com­pe­ti­tion dur­ing ses­sions.

Whether it’s been 10 years since you last put on a pair of train­ers, or you re­li­giously at­tend your lo­cal gym, mix­ing it up and tak­ing part in new/dif­fer­ent classes will work won­ders for your health.

A sin­gle car­dio class a week will get your heart pump­ing and burn off ex­cess calo­ries, while adding in a step, strength or HIIT class into your usual fit­ness rou­tine will help you achieve an all body work­out.


THE new year is also great time to take ad­van­tage of your kids’ en­ergy. Whether this is a run around the block, a short HIIT ses­sion in the park or a bike ride you can tire them out and reach your weekly fit­ness goals each week in one go.

If your kids were given a fit­ness tracker, scooter or new bike at Christ­mas, then in­cor­po­rate their new toy into a fam­ily fit­ness ses­sion. Fit­ness track­ers are a great ex­am­ple of turn­ing fit­ness into a game.

A new year’s res­o­lu­tion is a great way to set your­self a chal­lenge, but over-promis­ing or set­ting your­self un­achiev­able tar­gets won’t do you any favours.

So, let your new year’s prom­ise be to get healthy in a way you and your fam­ily can main­tain, take the op­por­tu­nity to see what’s hap­pen­ing around you, and find a new way to keep the won­der­ful per­son you al­ready are in­ter­ested.

■ Ruth Lynch is Head of Fit­ness, Health & Com­mu­ni­ties at Life Leisure sports trust, lifeleisure.net

Box­ing is a fantastic whole-body work­out for any age

Peer pres­sure in a gym class will keep you fo­cussed on your goals. Or, left, why not make the most of those Christ­mas presents and get out for a fam­ily bike ride?

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