Wellness: 5 ways to start the year with self-care
Embrace January - the month of hope and new beginnings - by being kind to yourself. Indulge in tranquil outdoor bathing, mind-balancing yoga and blissful spa sessions!
The start of a new year is the perfect time to ditch mobile phones, laptops and TVs and reconnect with nature, to soothe the body and declutter the mind. The perfect idyll to do this is PAUS – the hilltop bathing retreat set over 24 acres of rolling countryside in Bourn.
Based on the Scandinavian philosophy of balance, the ‘breathing and bathing space’ boasts western red cedar wood-fired hot tubs, dry Finnish saunas, hot and cold showers and an icy cool pool. There’s also a fabulous Hilltop Bistro, serving freshly cooked dishes inspired by continental cuisine (many ingredients sourced from PAUS’s on-site vegetable garden), a sensory Barefoot Walking Trail and ‘hammock alley’ created from recycled material, plus an expansive studio, which hosts fitness sessions, art classes and restful retreats.
As well as being a peaceful haven, PAUS and its myriad of holistic experiences offer a wealth of health benefits. Hot and cold therapy, popular in Nordic cultures, is a great way to de-stress and detoxify, release mood-boosting endorphins, improve circulation, stimulate the immune system (yes please in the era of Covid) and reduce blood pressure. Daylight exposure meanwhile helps brain and eye development, tops up vital Vitamin D levels, promotes better mental health, and aids restful sleep. And barefoot walking is said to increase muscle strength, flexibility and mobility.
A truly blissful spot where you can ‘do a lot while doing nothing at all’, PAUS needs to be on your ‘must do’ list for 2022!
Book a bathing session or one of the many workshops at paus.life
Book a spa day
The corks were popping at The Spa at Bedford Lodge Hotel as the sumptuous retreat in Newmarket was awarded a 5 Bubble Spa rating for the 9th consecutive year. The prestigious accolade from the Good Spa Guide Awards places it amongst the UK’s best luxury spas. It’s also the only spa in Suffolk to boast such a high rating.
Launched in 2013, The Spa at Bedford Lodge features an outdoor rooftop hot tub, spacious hydrotherapy pool with five different water experiences, a Rasul, Hamman, and 10 treatment rooms, where innovative therapies are practiced.
Find out more at bedfordlodgespa.co.uk
Do some yoga
Known to increase flexibility, strengthen the body and reduce stress, yoga is becoming increasingly popular with men. And it’s not just new age types, sporting man buns and chanting life-affirming mantras! Matthew McConaughey has been spotted exploring advanced poses on the beach, Colin Farrell is a fan of hot yoga, and Russell Brand reportedly practices daily to keep him on the path to spiritual enlightenment.
For those keen to take up this holistic pursuit, online retailer Warrior Addict is a great place to start. The UK’s leading men’s yoga wear brand, its clothes and accessories are all sustainably made. The yoga mats are constructed from eco-friendly natural rubber or vegan suede (with £5 from each sale going to C.A.L.M. – the charity that works to prevent male suicide); the yoga blocks are created with sustainably sourced natural cork from Portugal; and hoodies feature Lyocell, a sustainable yarn derived from wood pulp. Stock up on pro-planet attire at Warrior Addict and you’ll be all set for some dynamic stretching!
Shop at warrioraddict.com
Too-flight footballers and athletes use them for speeding up recovery from sports injuries, and now Cambridge has its very own cryotherapy chamber. Located at Light Blue Clinic in Girton, the custom-built cryo-chamber, which can house up to four people at a time, exposes clients to extreme cold, starting with a short stint at -60 celsius and then plunging to -120 celsius.
Gosia Bieniek, co-owner of the clinic, which also offers osteopathy, physiotherapy and strength and conditioning services, says: “We use whole body cryotherapy to speed up recovery, to minimise fatigue, to minimise stress-induced exercise symptoms and also to improve recovery time from chronic and acute injuries.”
Cryotherapy originated in Japan around 40 years ago – and today more than 70 per cent of Premier League football clubs have at least one cryo-chamber.
Milosz Wrobel, co-owner of Light Blue Clinic, grew up with the practice in Poland. It works by causing blood vessels to vasoconstrict, sending blood flow back to the heart, and distributing nutrients and oxygen back to the body quicker, allocating it to damaged muscle, through a fight-and-flight response.
The facility is open to sports teams and athletes, as well as the general public.
Find out more at lightblue.clinic
Take your vitamins
Thanks to the old saying ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor at bay’ I genuinely believed as a child that religiously crunching through Granny Smiths would keep me tip-top healthy. Ah, the innocence of youth! These days multivitamins are a sensible option to supplement a healthy diet, regular exercise and good quality sleep.
Inessa Immunity Complex contain a unique blend of eight powerful nutrients, which can bolster the body’s resilience – including vitamin D3, zinc, selenium, vitamin C, and powerful botanicals such as black elderberry, reishi and chaga mushrooms. New research suggests that Vitamin D in particular plays an important role in creating optimum immunity against covid, whilst zinc promotes white blood cell count and Vitamin C aids collagen production. Make sure you’re giving yourself the best level of immunity from pesky winter bugs (including Covid - with its ever emerging variants) by eating plenty of fruit and veg, taking regular brisk walks and popping some powerful multi-vitamin pills.
Invest in Inessa Immunity Complex, £29.99, at inessawellness.com
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More by this authorLouise Cummings