Picture of a frost-covered landscape with the sun rising behind a winter-bare tree

Winter’s beauty

I’ve never been a fan of the traditional full-on health regime that follows New Year’s Eve and advocate sensible hygge instead for several reasons….

It’s a big shock to the system

After carbing-out in the run-up to the Christmas break, followed by a week of lying about digesting further food and drink over the holiday, our bodies and brains are basically not ready to hit the ground running.  The reason that the Kneader massage tool sells so well in January is the very sore (and sometimes injured) muscles that inevitably follow so many New Year fitness resolutions.  Kneads Must would prefer massage be a regular and pleasurable experience rather than just a desperate response to physical discomfort.

Who wants to exercise when it’s cold and wet?

If you live in or around western Europe like I do, chances are that January’s weather will mostly be dark and dismal. I appreciate the Nordic mindset of their being no bad weather just bad clothing choices, but getting back to fitness is hard enough without adding in the possibility of slipping or dripping into the mix. End of.

The mouldy, old sausage of “too little, too late”

Three weeks of intensive diet and exercise are not going to instantly undo an accumulation of indulgence and neglect. Exercise – like stretching and massage – is easier and more effective when done little and often. Chances are that embarking on a full-on exercise regime too soon will just exhaust body and mind, sending you whimpering back under the duvet soon enough. Sorry, but the truth hurts a lot less than a pulled muscle or caffeine/sugar withdrawal.

Hygge for a simpler and enjoyable wellness path

If you follow Kneads Must and/or the Kneader, then you’ll know I’m a fan of ‘hygge’ and such other Nordic philosophies of wellbeing.  The core is all about mindfulness and life balance that places importance on enjoying the little details of the present. Enjoying a cup of coffee with a sweet treat is as important as a walk with friends in the great outdoors. It promotes enjoying who you are and the life you lead now, which helps create a healthier balance against the goals you hope to achieve. Hailing from colder, northern climes, it also makes the season of winter a major player, instead of seeing it as a temporary waiting room until warmer weather returns.  Embracing winter and its slower pace with love and respect can help abate the bad habits of boredom.  Here is a Nordic philosophy sampler I made to help explain some of their terms.  It’s just a start re all things hygge, but hopefully it will kindle an interest in getting the balance right, especially in the hopeful quiet of this New Year. Happy massaging!

The Kneader