Wessex FM’s Maria Greenwood on getting mind and body into shape this New Year

Maria Greenwood

Maria Greenwood - Credit: Archant

The usually irrepressible DJ Maria Greenwood is uncharacteristically coy when it comes to running marathons and climbing mountains - unless they’re made of chocolate that is...

At this time of year I am full of good intentions. I am trying really hard to shake off the excesses of Christmas. Did you know there are a whopping 289 calories in one mince pie? No wonder Santa got stuck up the chimney with that kind of indulgence at every house. Maybe the carrot shouldn’t have just been for Rudolph? So New Year, New Start. Time to mull over my New Year’s Resolution with perhaps a (small) glass of wine to oil the wheels.

What do I want to achieve this year? What change can I make that I will actually stick to, at least until the end of the month?

And then it dawns on me. The one thing that is always on my “To Do” list: I need to Get Fit.

The problem with this is I don’t actually enjoy exercise. My breakfast show colleague at Wessex FM, James O’Neill, took part in the London Marathon last year to raise money for Weldmar Hospice, and Amy in our sales team has set herself the same challenge this year. But for me, the only time you should run is in an emergency or for a bus.

So what I need is a way of getting into shape that also provides me with the motivation to stick at it. And I think I have found the book that may have the answer: Pub Walks of Dorset by Nigel Vile. What could be better than taking in some of Dorset’s most beautiful countryside on a bracing winter morning to get the blood pumping - and, ahem, with a slight incentive at the end.

The fact that I am not a huge fan of strenuous physical activity makes me admire those who throw themselves into tough endurance challenges all the more. This month a group of Dorset musicians are endeavouring to reach the peak of Kilimanjaro. They did ask me to join them, but I don’t think there are many places to plug in your hair straighteners up a mountain. The man leading the expedition is strangely not a huge fan of the great outdoors either. In his words: “I don’t like camping, I don’t like climbing and I don’t like heights.” But it’s all in the name of charity.

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I have been following the progress of the merry band of climbers on my Sunday afternoon radio show and I have everything crossed that they will make it to the top. It is going to be tough. Apparently out of the 25,000 people who try to reach the summit every year, only two thirds of them manage it. The main problem is altitude sickness.

And if you do make it to the top, what goes up must come down.

Realistically I don’t think I am ever going to scale the dizzy heights of Kilimanjaro, and I will probably never run a marathon. But maybe fitness isn’t all about the cross training. Maybe it’s about reconditioning your mind. And for me that’s about being more decisive. It’s not a question of sticking to a decision, but actually making one in the first place.

So that’s decided - my plan for 2014 is getting my mind and body into shape.

But first I have my own mountain to climb - the one beside me made of left-over Christmas chocolate.