Oh, January. By the end of December’s daze of parties and excess, it seems like almost a relief to turn our minds to the task of undoing all the festive damage of the holiday season. This month’s focus on health and fitness gives me a chance to clear my head, strap on the workout gear and remind myself to get moving!

Gym attendance is at its height the first two weeks of every new year but that’s no reason to skip it for fear of waiting in line for a cardio machine. Two of our stories this month focus on people who are getting their workout in without ever hitting the treadmill. RunningRachel.com is one woman’s look into the life of a busy wife and mother. Rachel Steffen doesn’t fit in workouts when she has time; instead she plans them out like another meeting. For her, the mental release of being on the road is worth the sacrifice of sleep and convenience, no gym membership required.

Doug Hayden, coach and founder of the Gladstone Masters Swim Club, finds his fitness in the pool. His love of swimming translates to the folks who come to him for encouragement and guidance, whether they are new to swimming or keeping their competitive streak alive from a lifetime in the water.

January is a great time to look forward and plan for the year ahead: who will you be? What will you accomplish? And it’s not just physical health that’s important. Take some time to check in with yourself, your partner or your kids; mental health needs a tune-up now and then too. Let’s take this opportunity to stretch ourselves and see what the future holds!

Namaste,

Rachel

Correction: In December’s ‘Beauty Through the Lens,’ photographer Joel Schneider’s name was misspelled. His website is JSchneiderPhotography.com/nature. We deeply regret the error.