Fitness is in the mind and soul, as well as the body
Other columns in this issue of Coast focus on physical preparation and activity heading into the New Year. Let’s shift gears and talk about something less sweaty and muscular, but just as important to overall wellbeing: staying emotionally fit by treating yourself to the occasionally deserved indulgence.
It’s important to spoil ourselves sometimes, because let’s face it, we’re all under a lot of pressure, right? And we’re Alaskans; so after a grueling work day, do we lie around like sluggish sloths? No! We strap on the skis, pump up the fat bike tires, swarm to the gym, hit the trails, the ice, the slopes – it’s fun, but boy is it exhausting! And cold.
So in 2017, remember to slow down, catch your breath, and enjoy some pampering. Here are some ideas on how to spoil yourself and relax.
Creative classes are all the rage, and they’re really fun. PaintNite or the local Arctic Canvas offer instructor-led group classes that are tons of fun (and often allow alcohol — Bonus!). Pinterest is dependably packed with holiday craft ideas. Another go-to for crafters is Color Me Mine, a paint-your-own pottery studio here in Anchorage. Michael’s and Joann Fabric both list classes on their websites. Or head to Far North Yarn Co. in Midtown for knitting supplies and classes. Then you’ll have a new scarf or hat to wear during that rigorous winter play!
Spring cleaning? Why wait! Start the year with a possession purge. Getting rid of things we don’t need feels freeing and uplifting. It’s an especially good time of year to donate outerwear, hats and gloves to local shelters.
Get a massage
“That massage was a horrible idea,” said no one, ever. I’m a fan of Intuitions in South Anchorage. They provide quality skills in a serene ambiance. After a rub down amid twinkling candles and music full of flutes and wind chimes, you’ll leave feeling centered and rejuvenated. GroupOn frequently has deals for massages from local chiropractors too. Keep an eye out for Midtown Chiropractic; friends rave about their skills.
Stay in a hotel
Watch cable, order in, lounge in fluffy robes – and you don’t even have to make the bed in the morning! You’ll feel like you enjoyed a mini vacation without the headache of airports. Some rooms at the Dimond Center Hotel have in-room hot tubs. And many establishments have indoor pools, including the Hotel Captain Cook and the Hilton Homewood Suites.
A personal favorite – though a tad spendy – is Alyeska Resort in Girdwood. With great restaurants, an awesome gym and pool, and breathtaking scenery, it’s a special experience. Plus, leaving town in winter is in itself a breath of fresh air. If you have a group of people, it’s totally worth it to rent a chalet through Alyeska Accommodations. Many come with saunas and hot tubs and it’s super convenient to have your own kitchen during your stay.
Speaking of pools, isn’t swimming relaxing? It’s one of my favorite forms of physical activity because of the mental centering and peace it can bring. The saltwater pool at Alaska Pacific University is open to the public, for a fee, with punch cards available. There are daily adult lap swims and family swims on weekends too. The Anchorage Community YMCA also has tons of swimming activities going on, listed on its website.
Food makes us happy. Being waited on and having someone else do the dishes makes us even happier! And after those workouts, you deserve a good meal! Ditch the go-to routine and try something new, like Marco T’s Pizzeria or Ramen House, both on Fireweed. Or offer patronage to a high-end staple like Marx Bros., Club Paris or Crow’s Nest. Your wallet may take a hit, but your tummy will offer up a happy high five.