Every year, millions of people make the same New Year’s resolutions: losing weight, reducing stress, trying to make better food choices, and, of course, increasing physical activity. Sounds familiar? We bet it does. But what are your real options in a city like Bucharest?
With another year gone, it’s only natural to take some time to reflect on life and goals. The new year brings the feeling of excitement and opportunity for a new beginning, and especially a chance to improve your health, but without a strict programme and clear objectives, it might prove impossible by the third week of January, when we “celebrate” Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year.
Simply put, we are exposed to toxins all the time. They are present in the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe. Some come naturally from the environment, while many others are synthetically created through industrial activity. That’s why our bodies, which are naturally in “detox mode” every minute of every day, can’t fight them all. Studies show that over 83,000 man-made chemicals are circulating freely in the environment, according to the CDC’s 2013 Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals.
The key to success
As you’re browsing the internet to find the best detox diet, most websites will tell you about one key to success: you need a good plan, which should serve as a map and give you structure, together with a community to support your efforts and to encourage you in your journey.
The latest trends in town
Aqua Gym classes are increasingly popular in Bucharest, with a lot of new hotels with pools opening across the city. Working out in the water is one of the most therapeutic activities one can engage in. Aqua gym or water aerobics builds cardio, strength and resistance and it’s suitable for all ages because water’s buoyancy helps you move more freely. The hydrostatic pressure enables one’s blood flow to circulate more effectively throughout the body. This effectively decreases blood pressure and, in the long run, decreases resting heart rate. And it’s amazing. Aqua Sport (www.aqua-sport.ro), Bery Fitness & SPA (www.bery-fitness-spa.ro), Body Exprim (www.bodyexprim.ro), Viva Sport Club (www.vivasportclub.ro) and World Class (www.worldclass.ro) all offer packages for these types of workout sessions. Prices start from RON 70/session.
Indoor Cycling, also known as spinning, is a well-established sport with a history of over 20 years. These classes are mostly for those who are looking for a cardiovascular workout that requires a great amount of energy expenditure with minimal impact on your hips, knees and ankles, while providing a huge endorphin boost. In Bucharest, there are beginner, intermediate and advanced classes, so don’t panic when you see the 60-minute session: you don’t have to spin your heart out.
Floating therapy happens in a sensory deprivation tank with salt water, which is dark, soundproof, and heated to skin temperature. As you’re cut off from all outside stimulation, including sound, sight, and gravity, floating weightlessly in silence and darkness, your brain is supposed to enter into a deeply relaxed state. Some studies show that this type of therapy increases originality, imagination, and intuition, which can all lead to enhanced creativity, but may also improve focus and concentration. Check out Happy Float (www.happyfloat.ro), The Float Room (www.thefloatroom.ro) or Ovo Float Center (www.ovofloat.ro) to schedule a session.
Mindfulness seems to be the new buzzword everyone’s using, but it’s actually a state of mind, the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. Although most of these practices can be done anywhere, some prefer to do it in a group, with everyone working together on their state of mind. Group sessions start from RON 80.
National and international wellness tourism
Although not used to their full potential, Romania has several places where you can find wellness programmes – both therapy and detox cures with mud or mineral waters. Check out resorts in Eforie Nord, Slanic Moldova, Baile Herculane, Baile Felix, Calimanesti-Caciulata, with hotels offering complete detox programs. International wellness tourism is also becoming more and more attractive, with suitable packages available through tourism agencies such as Eturia and Carpatour, which have Bali, Sri Lanka or Maldive as top destinations.
Going online for practice
You can access online yoga classes through www.yogaonline.ro and select from over 50 different options. Meanwhile, coach and nutritionist Valentin Vasile from Revvolution is developing an online platform for home workouts, which will also provide a personalised food plan.
A digital detox is a period of time when a person refrains from using tech devices and social media platforms. The new smartphones can provide data about the amount of time you’ve spent using them, and the figures can be quite scary. Research has shown that technology can be stressful, digital devices can disrupt sleep, and heavy use may be linked to mental health issues such as increased ADHD symptoms and conduct disorder, as well as worse self-regulation. If you spend time on social media, you might find yourself thinking that everyone else seems to be living a fuller, richer, or more exciting life based on their posts, which is probably not true, and you might also experience fear of missing out (FOMO syndrome), which is again a false problem. Try to be more present and be aware of the dangers.
The greatest challenge is probably having a healthy diet and providing your body with the good kind of fuel. The local supplements market has increased significantly, along with the number of nutritionists and holistic treatment providers, not to mention the food bloggers who are promoting healthy recipes and natural, fair-trade products. From this point of view, Romania still benefits from good soil and tasty farm products, and a trip to the local market can help you meet your need of healthy nutrients from fruits and vegetables.
For those who don’t have the time to prepare their own detox treats, a series of healthy businesses have been developed recently. frufru is a well-established healthy food provider whose fresh products can be found in most Mega Image stores, while detox juices are increasingly popular, made by JuiceIT, Rawdia or Iconic by Camelia Sucu, to name a few.
The marketing behind wellness therapies
Please read all the instructions carefully and read reviews about other people’s experiences with the products and services you want to acquire, and most importantly, get a complete medical check-up before you try any of the above to learn about your body’s current condition. Not everything will be a good fit, so don’t forget to be gentle with yourself.