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New year

“Why not try beach fitness, salsacise or kizomba?”

Find a passion in life; could it be joining a local choir?

easy it is to get stuck in a rut. So why not bust out of your comfort zone and refresh your life? Here are 12 things to try in 2012.


1. Get your pulse racing Bollywood bhangracise, aerobox, zumba, ski fitness, cheerobics, hula dancing, Cuba tone – there are so many new and fun ways to get moving. And the more you laugh with friends while trying to master the moves, the more calories you’ll burn. Anything that makes your heart beat

faster (as long as it’s legal and not morally dubious) will do you good. Why not ride a rollercoaster at Crealy (, watch a thriller at Exeter Picturehouse (, try airsoft – the new paintballing – with Skirmish Airsoft Exeter ( and step onto the dancefloor at the next wedding or party you go to instead of hiding? Matthew Balcer’s Exmouth beach fitness

(, a salsa, bachat or kizomba class at Bar Venezia on Exeter’s quay ( or salsacise, pump mix or zumba at Riverside Leisure Centre in Cowick Street (www.leisurecentre. com) will get the old blood pumping.

2. Play ‘Spin The Globe’ We all have our old favourites when

ariety is the spice of life, familiarity breeds contempt and if you rest, you rust – all clichés, of course, but as life hurtles by we all know how

it comes to food, but how many taste sensations are we missing out on? To mix things up a bit, why not spin a globe, shut your eyes, stop the globe with your finger and whichever country you’re pointing at, seek out their cuisine whether eating out, ordering in or cooking at home. Why not sample some of the South West’s

best Japanese food at Steaks ‘n’ Sushi in Exeter’s North Street (www.steaknsushi-, try authentic Spanish tapas at El Bocado in Exeter’s South Street (www. and sample fine Indian dining at Ganges on Exeter’s Queen Street (

3. Reclaim your time Face it – there are never going to be more than 24 hours in a day, so our only hope is to use our time better. Reclaim your

Get crafty: making do and mending is very 2012

commute. Use the time to make those phonecalls to friends and family you always struggle (and often fail) to shoehorn into your life. If you drive, use a hands-free kit. Maybe some of your nearest and dearest also get stuck in traffic at the same time and would love to chat. And if you rarely find time to read or have to stare at a screen all day, why not listen to audiobooks? Train or bus passengers could use a hand-held gadget to start their own solo film club, watching classics like Casablanca or cult films like The Big Lebowski. Wear headphones, and you’ll be oblivious to the sniffing, gossiping passengers around you. With DVD rental firms offering great deals, this cheaply turns a chore into a pleasure. Reclaim your lunch hour. Working

through lunch is a false economy – taking time out in the middle of the day is key to a more productive afternoon, leaving on time and feeling more refreshed and less harassed. So devote some of this time to ticking boring-but-necessary things off your ‘to-do’ list (banking, paying bills, renewing car tax or insurance) and the rest to relaxation (eat something scrummy – and not at your desk, stroll in a nearby park pondering ideas for that birthday present or where you fancy going on holiday). If you walk briskly, it’s also valuable exercise. Why not order your groceries online,

saving you time-consuming trips to the supermarket? And if you spend hours on end cleaning, and you can afford it, why not get a cleaner? If you’re worried what people will think, simply don’t tell them.

4. Scare yourself We’re not suggesting you throw yourself out of a plane at 15,000ft – there are plenty of little things you can do to give you a frisson. Have you ever been to the cinema alone?

Or to put it another way, have you ever missed a film you really fancied as your other half didn’t want to see it? Exactly. Going to the cinema alone is deliciously

liberating – not having to endure someone else’s choice or drag your partner along only for them to get bored and bug you. What’s the worst that can happen? Plus,

you won’t have to share your munchies. Other baby-steps towards scaring yourself include wearing a vivid colour you’d usually Exeter Living 27

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