January is a time for many things. Wrapping up warm, for one. Being exceptionally poor, thanks to the excesses of Christmas and the lure of the post-Christmas sales, for two. And then there is, of course, the “post-Christmas health buzz”, characterised by cut-price gym membership deals* and endless tweets that say things like, “work out and eat healthy today – or don’t, the choice is yours” with the result that I feel absolutely murderous before I’ve even eaten my Kelloggs**.
My favourite part of the “post-Christmas health buzz”, you’ll be surprised to hear, is the opportunity to purchase things to go along with my “post-Christmas health buzz”. This usually lasts until about February 6th (my birthday – I’ll have these please), but that it is shortlived doesn’t matter much when it comes to purchasing equipment for my Bright New Life.
1. Skipping rope, £10
When I was in college, I lived in one of those shared apartments with four other girls. This turned into five when one of the girls had her cousin to stay for several months on end, with no mention of contributing to the rent (which didn’t matter all that much at the time as the auld pair were paying, but now I feel affronted on their behalf). One of the housemates used to skip all the time, which I thought was very vigorous (and rhythmic) sex for the first three months of our co-habitation. She had a great figure mind you (and she ate porridge every morning). Skipping rope
2. Under Armour fitness trainers, €65 (reduced from €96)
These two items are not pink on purpose, but merely by coincidence; it is difficult to find cool, bright fitness gear for females that is not pink, although I do try. Anyway I own a very similar pair of Under Armour trainers and everyone admires them, which is not to say that they encourage me to work out (they don’t really), but they are very comfortable and light and did I mention everyone admires them? I’m easily pleased, obvs. (If you’re interested, they have a lightweight midsole, a rubber outsole for extra traction and a foam sockliner that moulds to your foot shape for a “slip-free, locked-in fit”. And everyone admires them.)
3. Lija swirl compression top, $80
Okay, okay, so I may be going slightly off-piste here (who doesn’t love a good sporting pun?) with this moisture-wicking tee by US-based sports brand, Lija, but this baby – and I know this from one time I wore it to work out – highly-functioning and really quite nice. The swirl detail on the tee gives a lovely feminine shape (because: top priority when exercising – femininity! Okay a bit really) and it really is super-quick-drying. What can I say? I’m a heavy sweater, and I’m not afraid to admit it.
4. Dumbbell set, €39
No one tells you, when you’re gearing up to start into Gillian Michaels’ 30-Day Shred, that you’re going to need dumbbells. Okay, maybe they do tell you, but if you ignore all advice and just throw yourself into things, you’ll realise (a) that you need dumbbells (b) that tins of beans are really quite light and (c) that this 30-Day Shred is really quite easy after all. Until you buy the dumbbells and nearly die on day two (or if, like me, you buy the dumbbells in Argos and then have to carry them the whole way home while juggling your handbag and your grocery shopping).
5. Fitbit Flex, £79.99
The Fitbit Flex (top picture) promises to help you “make fitness a lifestyle”, which sounds vaguely threatening if you ask me. But as the proud owner of one of these miraculous little things, I have to say … well. My lifestyle isn’t quite “fitness” yet. But I know how many steps I take every day (not enough) and how many calories I consume (too many) and that 10 minutes of slow cycling to the shop and back is not enough to have any effect on said calories. You’d think that would be depressing but no! I feel a keen sense of competition and am quite determined that my Fitbit and I will make big changes in 2014. Once I find it. I swear I only took it off for a second. It’s here somewhere.
* I personally succumbed to the Ben Dunne no-frills deals as advertised on those no-frills radio ads. The weights area smells like cocoa but the spin classes are BS-free and the ladies’ locker room is never very full.
** I know, I KNOW, more sugar than a bowl of ice-cream or something. But who am I to turn up my nose at a breakfast tradition?