As we welcome in the new year it is easy to get lost in all the hype and chat around changing your lifestyle, eating habits, working smarter and just generally being a better 'you'. Of course, there is nothing wrong with having new goals to kick start your 2018 but it’s not always about training for marathons and eating green and clean.
The other thing with this time of year are the infamous “January Blues” which can be a real downer! So, we thought to ourselves, who better to ask about overcoming these “Blues” than the happy team at Red Paddle Co, one of the original pioneers of the inflatable SUP. How do they embrace the dark days of January like a warm hug?
Over to Robyn Dawson, Marketing, Communications & PR Executive at Red Paddle…
A new year doesn't automatically mean a 'new you' - in fact we are all a little fed up with that phrase here at Red Paddle Co HQ. The pressures to make hard and fast changes can be a little overwhelming for many and can leave us feeling a bit torn-up if those plans don’t quite work out. So, we say forget all that, and follow our teams top five tips, to help you get you through this Blue Monday and beyond…
“I’m not a massive fan of all of these January rules – personally I think it’s totally fine if the only form of exercise you take is turning the pages of a great book or spending some quality time with your friends – wellbeing for me is all about finding that balance, and exercising your mind as well as your body. In the winter months, it can be super easy to take your work home and huddle in the warm, stick on a box set or sit on social media for hours on end before heading to bed. But staying in doesn’t mean you have to be stuck to a screen. So, I say give those eyes a rest and find yourself a good podcast.
Sure, podcasts are nothing new but we find they create brilliant discussion points. A recent study showed that listeners of podcasts have stronger more vivid imaginations and they apparently help to stimulate your mental imagery which aids creativity. They also help you to gain a greater appreciation of listening and reflecting. So, find a comfy spot and learn something new - my go to sites are Ted.com and Radio Lab which make for inspiring and illuminating listening."
“Looking out the window of our Red Paddle Co HQ here in the UK, winter has well and truly arrived. It’s grey, cold and dark outside before I leave the office. All that, after a day of dreaming of far-flung paddling locations and exotic SUP trips sent in by our awesome community. Those long, warm, summers evenings at the beach certainly seem like a distant memory. At the beginning of the year, I found myself stood at the window, day dreaming of just such outings and decided to change my stance on winter, after all, it happens every year! This year, I’ve decided to embrace the dark evenings and mornings by wrapping up and getting out in it. As with our boards, the benefits of kitting yourself out with some premium, weatherproof gear and taking yourself out into the elements is startling. Instead of heading home and getting comfy, I now grab my winter jacket and trusty walking boots and head out with the dog for a walk come rain, snow, sleet or (and this is the best bit) stars.
Whilst I am sure there is all sorts of science to support my not-so-new form of light exercise, the biggest benefit I’ve found is a new sense of wonder. Strolling along in the dark forces your senses to make up for the reduced vision, sounds and smells are intensified, the moonlight casts everything in silver whilst dazzling sunrises bring in a new day. Even the driving wind and rain puts a new spin on my usual 30-minute walk as small streams swell, trees creak and rain stings my face. It’s like exploring a new world right on my doorstep, I feel alive! Whilst getting kitted out is essential, the biggest advice I can give anyone is to buy yourself a decent head torch, it doesn’t need to be expensive just something that casts the light around you rather than on a single spot, that way, not matter where you wander, you’ll be able to find your way.”
“The darker days of winter can make it tricky to find the right time to head out for a paddle and for someone who is still relatively new to SUP it can be a little daunting to go it alone when I want to keep improving my SUP skills.
We are all keen paddlers here at Red Paddle Co, but a few of the girls in the office have yet to get into the world of SUP racing. So, as a way of keeping on top of our SUP fitness we have entered an all-female team into the ‘Head of The Dart’ – a 9-mile SUP race along the River Dart and we’ll be doing it on our Dragon 22ft inflatable SUP. I love that we will all be in it together and I’m already super pumped to get on the water. By setting ourselves this goal we can build up our fitness both on and off the water and spend some quality time together as a team – bring on the training and those après SUP beers!”
“Maybe it’s just me but I’m already a bit tired of being told what to eat throughout the month of January. Everywhere you look you’re bombarded with the latest supplements, diets and must have super foods. If like me you enjoy your food then making big changes to your intake can become a bit arduous and I know it’s pretty unlikely I’ll actually stick to a strict diet throughout the year. Of course, I am no nutritionist but I find a super easy way to integrate a bit of goodness into your diet is by whipping up a quick smoothie. I make a couple a week and cram it full of fruit and veggies. Coconut and almond milk are great alternative to water and if you need an extra boost I find protein powder makes a tasty addition. It’s such a simple and easy way to make a change and get your 5 a day. If all else fails, eat-up, enjoy your food in moderation and the rest will follow.“
"This year, I'll go to the gym!". Like many of us, as January rolls round I am guilty of saying this phrase, yet never following through. That’s why I decided to stop focusing on the scales and started thinking about what I enjoy. Climbing. After sitting at my desk all day, heading to my local wall gives me a new burst of energy. It's a great workout for both my mind and body, concentrating on movements, feeling my body strain before I fall, and I love the adrenaline rush it causes – that’s something that keeps me coming back for more. Not only can you do it inside but climbing is also a great activity to build-up and maintain my shoulder strength ready for a summer of SUP. And the best bit about it? When it finally stops raining, you can get outside and fall in love with the sport all over again.”
Thanks to Robyn and the team at Red Paddle Co for those handy tips and making January a bit of fun again!
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