How can I beat the post holiday blues this September?
September; the skies get darker again, the leaves begin falling off the trees, our children return to school, and – if you were lucky enough to get away on a holiday for August – it’s time to get back to the grind.
Returning from a week of wine and spaghetti in the sunshine can make getting back to a proper exercise routine seem daunting, especially if that usually consists of waking up early to smash a session in an overcrowded gym at the crack of dawn.
At Peach, we don’t believe in “exercise” – at least not in the sense of the word you may think of. Many people think of exercise as a necessary evil, a ritual slog to be completed and scheduled in the place of doing things you actually enjoy.
At Peach, we instead view exercise as movement – something your body was designed to do constantly without prescription.
Think about the “movement” you would have engaged in on your summer holidays this year; perhaps you enjoyed splashing in the hotel pool with your children, cooling off in a turquoise sea between sunbathing sessions, or walking miles through a new city taking photographs of the most photogenic streets.
You probably didn’t even think of this as “exercise”; you were instead focusing on the novelty of the situation, and enjoying switching off from your emails for once.
The sense of “novelty” and “being offline” are not exclusive to being abroad or on holiday, but are easy to lose sight of in our daily rituals.
In our opinion, there’s no better way to bring back that holiday mentality than by getting moving in new ways.
- Take to the water
The most popular holiday destinations are by the sea; most people would agree there’s something uniquely calming about a large expanse of water free from buildings, bodies and noise. Plus, it goes without saying that you simply can’t be on your phone whilst in or on water!
There are plenty of well known lidos around London which offer a bracing outdoor swim. Not for the faint-hearted, these un-heated public swimming pools are a hive of activity during the summer months as Londoners desperately search for a refreshing cool-down to escape the heat of the city. September offers a more relaxing opportunity for those wishing to do a few lengths in the open air before winter sets in.
For even more novelty factor, why not try one of the many paddleboarding classes on Regent’s Canal – it’s a perfect place to learn, since the water is so still. Paddington Basin also offers an innovative blend of paddleboarding and either yoga or pilates. Active360 provide classes for people willing to try this new mix a go, where a paddleboard becomes your new floating yoga mat.
Further afield at the Welsh Harp Open Space – minutes away from the bustling Brent Cross shopping centre – there’s sailing and windsurfing clubs and classes on the reservoir.
There are also kayaks for hire across London – why not try travelling up to your next Sunday roast along the canal instead of the tube?
- Get out in nature
Escaping the stress of the city is a factor many people cite for going abroad. We’re very lucky in London, however, that getting to a green space is easier than it is in many other global cities.
Despite its popularity, there are parts of the Hampstead Heath woods where you cannot hear a car or other human being. Try going even further up towards Golders Green to discover the hidden beauty that is the Hill Gardens and Pergola.
Also at the top end of the Northern Line is is Queen’s Wood, a 52-acre area of ancient woodland in the London Borough of Haringey across the family friendly areas of Highgate, Muswell Hill, East Finchley and Crouch End. Formerly part of the ancient Middlesex Forest as mentioned in the Domesday Book, hidden amongst the ancient trees are a few quaint cafes and cabins where yoga classes are often held.
Richmond is another classic, but did you know there’s also a lido and sand beach in Ruislip, a forest in Epping and an expansive wetlands centre in Barnes?
If you work centrally, just taking the time on your lunch break to take a brisk walk around one of London’s many parks – not glued to your emails, but taking the time to appreciate your surroundings – can make a world of difference to your afternoon mindset.
- Be a tourist at home
Just getting out of your corner of the city and spending the day in a different area of town can feel like a holiday. The backstreets of Kensington and Chelsea are excellent for people watching, the Kyoto garden in Holland Park a haven of peace, the Hammersmith river bank perfect for autumnal breeze-slicked jogs, whilst Notting Hill and Brick Lane are great for digging for hidden gems.
There are plenty of good quality walking tours on offer around London with knowledgeable guides, which are excellent for seeing your usual stomping grounds through fresh eyes – you won’t even notice your steps count increasing. Check out the highly rated Free Tours By Foot for ‘pay what you can’ walks around town.
If you want a more intense exploration of your hometown, there are also running tours that can be customised to pass by hidden gems you’ve never been to before or better yet, let yourself be surprised with secret themed tours where Love London Running Tours explores places even locals have never been to before (think hidden spots for unique interests like gin, ghosts, and street art). What better way to get an enjoyable sweat in? If you’re of the competitive sort, they even have periodical Challenge Runs where teams solve themed missions through clues left at secret spots throughout the city.
All of our trainers are flexible on location and love to work outdoors, so why not try somewhere new this time?