START A NEW HOBBY
START A NEW HOBBY
A new hobby can change your life. Really! Read on for the top activities you can take up right now.
1 Go on walks!
Strolls can change your life. They really can – the research shows that simple walking has multiple health benefits: it can help you maintain a healthy weight, prevent high blood pressure and diabetes, improve cardiovascular fitness and improve energy levels. We’re fortunate to have many a stunning walking sites in our proximity – head out a leisurely passeggiata in Wimbledon, or opt for an alternative for culturally-inclined: a literary walk through Clapham or Richmond. There are also autumn and winter walks for the colder days. Or venture out to Surrey Hills for a more challenging hike.
2 Nerd out
I am a firm proponent of the idea that nerding out on niche subjects is one of the most satisfying form of relaxation out there. Take your family (or yourself) on a day out with royal history, or get to know the fascinating beer-making legacy of Wandsworth. Do you love your local features? Find out why the founder of the famous Boat Race could only eat under-done beefsteak prior to the competition, and where did Rose Lamartine Yates live in Wimbledon. Into sports? Take a look at remarkable history of Sutton United.
A journal, a short story, a poem, or maybe a novel? Writing is for everyone. Gill Hornby has some advice for those starting out and Faye Brann knows the most common mistakes young writers make and has some tips to get published. Since being a writer means reading a lot too, here are some fab new crime novels, books with a local twist, books you can take on summer holidays, and even some top Christmas novels because it’s never too early for a Christmas novel.
4 Get fit
Being fit is great, now if only getting fit was slightly easier… It can be interesting, though! Take up horse riding or golf, or find other new way to stretch and strengthen. Here are some workout plans you can do at home if this is right up your street. The winter is coming so prepare your body for the slopes with these simple yet effective ski exercises. Or if the weather is right, take your workout outside! And get inspired by the fabulous story of our local Olympic medallist, Leah Wilkinson.
5 Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness and gratitude are all over right now – and that’s because they really do work. Several studies have shown that the practice of mindfulness can reduce rumination, alleviate stress and even improve memory. Resilience Zone in Fulham has numerous and varied classes to get you more grounded and satisfied with your life. Pilates can also help you a lot – read about its numerous benefits.
6 The Great Home Bake Off
Baking is a great way to de-stress and unwind. And the good news is, we’ve got plenty of fab recipes for seasoned and beginner bakers alike. There’s a wonderfully simple heart cake for your significant other, cherry s’more waffles for a bonfire, Adam Byatt’s own caramel tart, the patriotic Union Jack trifle, or pistachio “nice” cream for a healthy treat. Or try your hand at cake decorating just in time for Halloween!
7 Cook up a storm
If you prefer savoury to sweet, make sure to try out our array of recipes! Amongst our favourites are: yummy Korean BBQ chicken, healthier nachos by Joe Wicks, sweet potato and chilli dauphinoise, and a slow-cooked beef brisket by Tom Kerridge. Also, if you fancy honing your cooking skills a little bit, book a class at Everyday Healthy Cooking or up your BBQ game with Abinger Cookery School.
Contrary to popular belief, everyone can learn how to sing, and at any age. So do sign up for a local choir and experience the beauty of singing together. They usually require neither previous experience nor any audition process. Kingston Orpheus Choir is a friendly and well-established mixed voice choir that welcomes new members from this month on, and Putney Choral Society has an open rehearsal coming next week.