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Run, dance, enjoy - It’s not too late to make an alternative New Year’s resolution

PUBLISHED: 08:00 11 January 2019

Running can be a fun resolution to make. I Can Run club is a supportive community for women. Picture: EMMA TALBOT

Running can be a fun resolution to make. I Can Run club is a supportive community for women. Picture: EMMA TALBOT

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Are you already struggling to keep your New Year’s resolutions, like losing weight? If so, it’s not too late to make some alternative ones!

Could dancing be the right resolution for you? Jane Spencer-Rolfe and Ronni-louise Hetherington have set up Let's Bop women's dance nights. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNCould dancing be the right resolution for you? Jane Spencer-Rolfe and Ronni-louise Hetherington have set up Let's Bop women's dance nights. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Why not set yourself a challenge, learn a new hobby, travel, join a club, run or dance into 2019?

Every January, many of us make ambitious resolves which prove all too difficult to stick to in practice. January 12 has even been designated “Quitters’ Day” by sports social network Strava, as apparently it is the date when most people give up.

Past surveys by YouGov have shown that women are more likely to make resolutions than men, with losing weight being the most common vow we take - for reasons including body image.

But pressure to go on diets after the festive period can prove stressful, and won’t work out for everyone. Increasingly, some women are choosing alternative positive and exciting resolutions instead or as well.

Emma Talbot, founder of the I Can Run women’s running club in Suffolk, said that for many people the New Year “marks the time when negative thoughts start sneaking in ... ‘I’ve done it again,’ ‘Oh, I’m so weak’, ‘Why did I have to eat so much?’”

She ditched the New Year diets when she realised they were just making her miserable, and instead took a positive decision to concentrate on running and exercise.

Emma said: “Running is achievable for many - whatever your age, size, background or ability. It’s accessible and free - well, bar some trainers and a good sports bra - but lacing up your trainers and stepping out your front door to run or to run and walk down the road and back can be done very easily.

“By stepping out and trying - even if you only run for a few seconds - you will almost immediately feel the ‘runners high’ of endorphins and notice that your mental health and wellbeing can improve.

“When we’re feeling epic like this, we start to feel more confident in ourselves, and may start making some different choices in life - be it a new job, or an adventure, for example.”

I Can Run is based in Ipswich, Felixstowe, Stowmarket and Needham Market, and offers a range of different runs, including six-week paid-for beginners’ courses, with the next one in Ipswich starting on Sunday, January 13. See their website for more details.

Read more - resolutions that help other people

Another different and positive resolution is to take up dancing. One unusual dance option is Let’s Bop, which holds women-only sessions at music venues and nightclubs in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket. The aim is for women to enjoy a night out with no pressure, feeling comfortable and safe.

Jane Spencer-Rolfe, who set up Let’s Bop together with Ronni-louise Hetherington, said: “I think the New Year is a time when people think about doing all sorts of things. After Christmas people are going back to everyday life, back to school and work.

“So it’s good to have things that make you feel positive, especially things that help wellbeing and being more active.”

She said women often felt self-conscious about things like joining gyms once they reach a certain age, but events like Let’s Bop evenings could help them to relax and feel more confident, as well as being a fun way to exercise and improving fitness.

“We don’t make women book up a lot in advance, and it’s not a course or a class - it’s a night out.”

The next Let’s Bop events are on January 16 at the John Peel Centre in Stowmarket on Wednesday, January 16, and at Unit 17, Cardinal Park on January 23. You can find out more details on their Facebook page.

Jane and Ronni are taking on a challenge to do something new for the New Year themselves by turning radio presenter and “co-hosting” the Jon Wright show on BBC Radio Suffolk at 7pm on January 29.

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