There’s no relationship that’s more on-again, off-again than the one we have with our New Year’s promise! Make 2018 different by really living up to your true potential – FACT is helping you stick to your guns with our ultimate guide of eight resolutions that are worth keeping!

 

1. FIT IN MORE FITNESS

IF it’s health and not weight loss you’re looking for, Bahrain has an abundance of exercise and wellness options at your fingertips. You could simply sign up to a gym or join in with one of the many sports teams on the island as well as becoming a regular at your favourite fitness class. Get creative with more interesting hobbies such as Kangoo Jumps with Oxygen Gym (www.oxygengym.com); a Brazilian martial arts known as Capoeira with classes held at St Christopher’s Junior School, Saar (www.facebook.com/capoeirabahrain); or even kitesurfing, wakeboarding and more water activities with Extreme Sportz (www.extremesportz.me).

A great bargain to be had is signing up at the Royal Golf Club (www.theroyalgolfclub.com) where you can enjoy fitness classes, a gym with world-class facilities, bootcamp, swimming and more for a very reasonable price! Also, make  every little count by taking the stairs instead of the lift or elevator – walking half an hour every single day or doing just 20 minutes of rigorous exercise can make a difference to your wellbeing! Don’t forget to take out time for a good relaxation and pamper session too – after all, it’s all about balance.

SHERATON BAHRAIN HOTEL

Sheraton Fitness Membership: Sheraton Fitness offers an exclusive membership that allows you to keep fit by providing you with strength and cardio equipment along with  extensive recreational facilities. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll have access to: state of the art cardio machines; a fully-equipped gym; treatment rooms with massages available at an additional charge; sauna and steam facility separate for men and women; temperature controlled Jacuzzi; swimming pool with three lap lane floaters (25 meters x 10 meters); rooftop tennis court; an aerobic studio; and if needed, a personal trainer at additional charge.

GO: Call 1753 3533 for more information

FOUR SEASONS HOTEL BAHRAIN BAY

Spa Express Treats: Pamper yourself with a selection of spa express treats at its best using only the purest natural ingredients, essential oils and specialised massage techniques that nourish, hydrate and revitalise your body. Our favourites include the 30-minute Express Facial – a hydrating facial that combines cleansing, and gentle exfoliation followed by a revitalising mask, resulting in healthy glowing skin; then there’s the 30-minute De-stress Back Treatment – specifically tailored to ease back tension by combining Himalayan salt back scrub, aromatic compresses followed by a relaxing back massage that will leave your skin nourished and soothe upper body tension. Both priced at BD35 each.

GO: Call 1711 5000 for more information


2. BREATH LIGHTER

This one goes out to all the smokers who really want to quit but find it difficult to do so! Frankly, it’s time to give up smoking. To be fair, this should be on the top of everyone’s list all year round, but New Year does make for a perfect excuse. We know it’s easier said than done, but once you make that decision, it is truly not as hard as you thought! The toughest bit is breaking the habit and so it is a good idea to change up your routine by, for example, sitting somewhere you don’t usually smoke or taking up a new hobby that will keep you busy in free hours.

Whether it’s binge-watching a new series on Netflix or sweating it out on the treadmill, trying out your cooking skills or even meditating – finding what makes you stop thinking about the nicotine rush is what’s important here. If you’re not up for going ‘cold turkey’, as they say, there is aid at hand. You could invest in some patches or gum, or head over to IQS Bahrain – I Quit Smoking – at Dana Mall (www.iquitsmoking.bh) or any other dedicated tobacco cessation clinic including Bahrain Specialist Hospital Riffa (1338 1338) and Juffair (1781 2000) as well as selected health centres in Hidd and Hoora to name but a few


3. DONATE YOUR TIME

What better way to feed the soul and develop your character than by giving unselfishly to others? There are good causes aplenty to get involved with in Bahrain. One that is always fresh in everyone’s mind after the festive period is Bahrain Red Crescent Society(www.rcsbahrain.org)which is a fantastic volunteer charity that supports a number of great humanitarian causes. There’s also The Palm Association which was created to help people with the most basic of needs. The cornerstone of the association is their Feed-a-Family Programme. Sponsorship of the Feed-a-Family programme permits them to provide and distribute approximately 155 food parcels to the value of BD20 every month to impoverished Bahraini families (www.thepalmassociation.com).

And if animals are more your thing, then there are numerous other groups helping our domestic friends around the country, too. Some of the best include Tony The Dogfather’s Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre in Saar (www.tonythedogfather) and the Bahrain Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BSPCA) which is a committed and passionate humane, non-profit organisation dedicated  to the welfare of animals (www.bspca.org). Other every day organisations to check out include Feed the Need (www. feedtheneedbahrain.com) an incredible initiative offering food to the local communities through fridges and shelves placed in different areas of the country; and A Box of Goodness (www.facebook.com/aboxofgoodness), encouraging children and adults to collect items in an empty box, adding one item a day for one month.

At the end of the month, you have a box full of goodness to share with someone in need. Whether you want to look after children or would love to lend an ear to a cancer sufferer, there is a charity or group for everyone here. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for, why not start your own?


4. BUILD SOME MAD SKILLS

We mean expand your talent repertoire by learning something new! A language, perhaps? Arabic should be a priority for all expats, and for this you can head to the Lingoease Centre (www. facebook.com/BilingualBahrain). But, there are plenty of other tongues to be mastered so check out what classes are available at Berlitz (www.berlitz-bahrain.com) or the British Language Centre (www.britishlanguagecentre.co.uk) – to name a few. But maybe arts is more your thing. Check out Namaste Bahrain (www.namastebh.com) who offer everything from portrait to fine art, still life drawing and art therapy classes too. There are so many activities to choose from, such as learning an instrument, singing, amateur dramatics or film and photography.

Or, if you head to one of the many art galleries around town, you’ll surely hear about workshops and classes being run by local and visiting artists for a minimal spend and in most cases, completely free! If you like to cook, on the other hand, amazing chefs around the country offer cooking classes and tasting sessions. One of the places where this often takes place is the 5-star Gulf Hotel Bahrain Convention & Spa (1771 3000) where chefs host group cooking classes with a sumptuous meal to follow. Of course, you could also take the outdoor-sy route and pick up diving, kitesurfing or even spear fishing. Go horse riding, play golf, learn to parasail or keep it simple and on dry land with outdoor yoga or even swimming. There is no end to the activities that are available to you in Bahrain, so what are you waiting for?

THE GULF HOTEL BAHRAIN CONVENTION & SPA THE ART OF COOKING:

Designed for all the amateur cooks out there who love to be in the kitchen but find themselves too busy – THIS is just the treat and skill-refining activity you need. Perfect for home cooks and those with a passion for food who want to spend some time with the pros, every Saturday, The Gulf Hotel Bahrain Convention & Spa offers intimate hands-on demonstration classes, from the building blocks of cooking to delicious and exclusive mouthwatering menus, led by the team of amazing chefs. BD18 net with lunch – seats are limited. Clases take place on January 13 (Mexican); January 20 (Pastry); and January 26 (Japanese Sushi), from 10.30am to 12noon.

GO: Call 1771 3000 for reservations and more information.


5. BANISH THE BULGE

After (at least) one month of gorging, only the luckiest of souls will have little or no belly bulge. It’s inevitable, especially when you keep telling yourself ‘That’ll be my resolution!’ (every year). But it’s not a problem this time, as Bahrainhas plenty of options to get rid of that muffin top in no time. Firstly, you have to decide to adopt a new lifestyle, rather than going on a ‘diet’, which are always doomed to  failure. Just a dash of healthy eating and a dollop of good exercise will do the trick, and you’ll be amazed at how easy (and addictive) it is! You could join a gym or get involved with a team sport or, simply go for (at least) a half hour walk every evening.

Then, make sure the pantry is guilt-free. If you’re not confident to take the plunge yourself at first, there are some places and people to help! VLCC Wellness (www.vlccwellness.com/bahrain), for example, will assess your BMI (Body Mass Index) and then explore customised weight loss options with you. Or, Carlton Nutrition Centre (www.carlton-nutrition-center. com) where professional dietitians help you lose, gain, or maintain your weight and improve your athletic performance, and nutrition consultations that will deliver meals created just for you, straight to your door. So, go on then… no excuses!


6. TIGHTEN THE PURSE STRINGS

Easier said than done in a place that’s becoming pricey, but we promise it is doable! First of all, instead of going out and schmoozing all the time, why not have more soirees at home? Get a BBQ roaring and some music blasting, and you have a good night on the cards that doesn’t need to cost a week’s wage! Of course, one way to save lots of pennies is to stop eating out at lunch. Make it the night before and pack it up for tomorrow’s al-desko session. But, don’t let it be the end of your social life! There are many reasonably priced restaurants and bars to visit.

For a cheap and cheerful dinner one of our favourites is Foods at Home (1700 0888) with its cosy living room setting and delicious authentic fare. A whole meal for two here comes to around BD10-15 – that’s starters, mains and dessert. Another good eatery is Coco’s in Adliya where portions are big and prices are small – expect to get a hearty meal here for under BD5 per person! Our favourite spots for a reasonable evening or night out are Harvesters Pub & Terrace at Crowne Plaza Bahrain (1753 1122) and Downtown Bar at InterContinental Regency Bahrain (1722 7777). Don’t forget all the amazing Happy Hours at all the bars, lounges and even upscale venues in the country.


7. HEALING FOM WITHIN

To those unfamiliar with Reiki,it is a practice, otherwise known as a healing art, that originatedin Japan developed by Dr Mikao Usui and works to promote self- healing on all levels – physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual. So what happens during a Reiki session? Well, every individual reacts differently to a treatment  It works by channeling energy to the body which enables it to eliminate toxins. Your Reiki master will places their hands onthe recipient’s body, and from the sensation they feel, they’re able to gauge the level of toxins within your body.

Although some may argue the treatments make no personal difference, Reiki is not designed to give instant relief and over a course of treatments, significant changes can be seen inside and out. Reiki is a gentle healing therapy which compliments medical and other holistic therapies. Melanie Sarginson is one of the best Reiki teachers and practitioners in Bahrain who can perform the life-changing therapy on you or even offer coaching and counselling (www.reikibahrain. com) while Serenity Meditation, Yoga and Reiki Centre (www. serenity.bh) also offers healing classes and therapies.


8. INDULGE IN THE ORGANIC WORLD

While many people are reluctant to change, perhaps it’s time to take a risk and try something new, so why not start with your food? Organic food and, more specifically, plant-based diets have become HUGE in the health world. Organic food is produced using methods that do not involve modern synthetic inputs such as synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilisers. Although the farming movement arose in the 1940s in response to the industrialisation of agriculture known as the Green Revolution, organic food production has recently reached a peak of popularity. On top of this, vegan lifestyles are being adopted more and more by people who come to realise that going green on their plates is ultimately great for their bodies.

Luckily, many major supermarkets in Bahrain offer up good organic food sections – this includes Al Osra, Lulu Hypermarket, and even Carrefour. Those looking for something a little more traditional should check out Live Well, founded in 2003 as a way to encourage a healthy, organic lifestyle in Bahrain. There’s a shop in Zinj’s Al Jazira supermarket, and another in Bahrain Mall called Bio Natural Nutrition, and sells everything from quinoa flour to soy products and even organic body and hair care items. Of course, the annual Bahrain Farmers’ Market is a fabulous place to start with stocking up on farm-grown, fresh produce too. Going organic or simply cutting out meat for more vibrant fruit and veggies on your plate, has never been as easy as it is in 2018!