London is famous for being one of the most vibrant cities in the world and during my early twenties, there isn’t a better place to live! However London, with all its charm, can be intense, and feel overpopulated and COLD.
My friends and I call it a cruel mistress because it gives you the best and worst of times. (yeah…like a tale of two cities):
- The best dance clubs in the world.
- And trains so crowded you feel like you are in a club, but having a lot less fun.
- The most beautiful buildings and people in the world.
- And sharing a flat with the most beautiful bunch of friends and cohorts a girl could ask for…in a bedroom so small I can touch it from end to end).
Naturally, my hot and cold relationship with London takes its toll and if it were a dude, I’d be done already. So I have to put in a little effort into staying fit and well and these are the “essentials” I swear by…
1. A Good Pair of Trainers
(that’s sneakers to you, Yanks!)
Like most Londoners, my trainers aren’t just for the gym, they’re godsends for my morning commute as the underground tunnels can f*** -up your feet. Apart from my good ol’ Nikes, for city bopping, I love my Saucony trainers – they have running sole bounce but are colourful, and I really like the suede style of mine.
2. Hand Sanitizer
In London, we are all so close to each other that if there is a flu going around at 10 am, by lunchtime half the city is infected. That’s why I carry a small hand sanitizer with me everywhere I go. You could say I’m doing my part to prevent a germ apocalypse; which I think is very possible, BTW. Maybe it works, maybe not, but if nothing else, it makes me feel FRESH!
3. Foam Roller
Although my yoga mat deserves to be on this list, my foam roller is the unsung hero of my life. I use this small foam cylinder to reverse the stressful effects of a desk job and busy lifestyle.
When I’m so stressed that my shoulders are up to my ears, I lay on my back with this under my spine for a few minutes to pull back my arms and open up my chest. I also use it to iron out knots around my body. It costs just £10 and is so important to my wellness routine.
Vaseline was my coconut oil before coconut oil was cool… And waaay cheaper! I use it for everything: split ends, dry chapped lips (from the c-c-cold London wind…), for facials, cracked heels, to keep my elbows soft and as sunless-tanning prep.
5. Water Bottle
I keep a full water bottle with me at all times and jeez does it make me drink more! I prefer using a soft collapsible one so I’m not carrying around a big empty bottle in between refills.
6. Chilled Out App – Lusity
Remember how relaxing the sound of rain can be? Recently I downloaded the Lusity app on a whim, and now I get to make it rain whenever I want to. Lusity has several natural sounds to choose from; thunders, sea breeze, bird noises, and among others, rainfall. The app helps me to zone out (and tune out city noise) during my commute.
Besides multivitamins, there are three supplements I take: iron, magnesium and flaxseed oil. I need iron because I’m a vegetarian so supplements (and spinach) help me fill the void in my diet. Magnesium is wonderful for protecting us from the impact of stress and reducing muscle tension. And I use flaxseed oil (a sorely overlooked supplement, I think) because it’s great for my heart and helps promote healthy hair growth- wahoo!
With these essentials I prevent burnout and don’t need to run home to my family in the North of England to refuel nearly as often as if I didn’t!
We all have a different bag of tricks that keep us feeling our best, and I hope sharing my London Essentials can help you (especially as winter looms!)
Don’t forget to share your city’s essentials below! I love hearing what others are doing to be healthy and well.