After the usual festive binge of overeating, drinking too much and being slumped on the sofa munching chocolates, you might be thinking of making a change to welcome in the New Year.

Whether you’re into fitness, dieting or you just fancy revamping your look for 2019, there are plenty of ways to shrug off the cold wintry weather and start off the year on the right footing.

Depending on who you are, January can mean bargain hunting in the sales, trying to keep New Year’s resolutions, or simply trying to keep the January blues at bay. Fear not – help is at hand for everyone.

If getting fit is your goal, then Leicester has ample sports clubs and leisure centres offering a programme of classes and sessions to suit a range of tastes.

The city council runs seven leisure centres with swimming pools and fitness suites, as well as operating one climbing wall, one athletics track, one golf course, a multi-use outdoor facility and a range of dedicated football facilities.

Details of activities available at each are available here.

Similarly, the websites for councils around the county are a good starting point for information on local sports organisations, including the borough councils at Charnwood, Melton, Hinckley and Bosworth, and Oadby and Wigston, and the district councils at Blaby, Harborough and North West Leicestershire.

In addition, the city and county are home to clubs covering many more sports, including cricket, badminton, athletics, rugby, tennis, hockey, basketball, golf, netball, gymnastics and martial arts, any of which might be the first steps towards a whole new fitness regime.

Details of many local clubs and activities can be found here.

If that all sounds a bit too strenuous, then you could always start more slowly with the luxury of a visit to a spa. Leicestershire’s best-know spa is probably Ragdale Hall near Melton Mowbray, where you can be pampered with a huge range of luxurious treatments on spa days or longer visits.

In the city centre, Bannatyne’s offers a combination of health club gym facilities and spa packages.

Ok – so maybe you’re focusing on your fitness, and you’re looking your reinvigorated best after a spell of TLC at a spa. How about sharpening up your look with some new clothes?

Luckily Leicester and Leicestershire has some of the region’s best shopping on hand. Leicester’s Highcross shopping centre is home to more than 100 stylish shops, including Debenhams, Next, H&M and John Lewis among many others selling the latest High Street fashions, footwear and accessories.

The nearby Haymarket Shopping Centre is also a one-stop shop for clothing and accessories with shops including Pandora, H&M, Ann Summers and TK Maxx. Further from the city centre, Fosse Park brings together scores of clothing retailers including GAP, Next, M&S, River Island, New Look and Sports Direct.

But the city is also home to scores of fantastic independent retailers located in and around The Lanes and arcades, such as Tinfish Shoes at the Royal Arcade in the city centre, and also at Francis Street, Stoneygate.

If vintage clothing is your thing, then try The Wardrobe, also in Royal Arcade or Dolly Mix Vintage, in nearby Cank Street.

Wandering through Leicester’s Lanes, you’ll also be close to some of the city’s best health food and vegetarian cafes too, which might be just the thing for anyone observing the ‘Veganuary’ campaign.

The World Peace Café in Guildhall Lane offers fantastic vegetarian food at its Buddhist centre café, while independent vegan wholefoods store and takeaway Currant Affairs, in nearby Loseby Lane, is the place to go for a huge selection of delicious vegan snacks.

The Good Earth, in Free Lane, off Halford Street, has also got a great reputation for top-notch vegetarian bakes, salads and cakes, while Shivalli, in Welford Road, offers a vegetarian twist on authentic South Indian cuisine.

So, however you choose to kick-start the new year after the Christmas excesses, you’ll find plenty to get you started in the right direction.




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