A New Year offers 365 new chances

Posted on: 17th January, 2017

Category: Sport & Fitness

Contributor: West Cork People

Danish freelance journalist and fitness professional Tania Presutti, who now resides in Clonakilty, delivers a series of efficient DIY fitness exercises you can do at home.

A New Year – 365 new chances. A Facebook friend put that on her status as a New Year greeting. I decided to borrow it for my column because the saying made it so obviously clear that each day is a new chance for us to get it right – and no, we don’t need it to be the New Year to start afresh. Every day is a new start.

However New Year is, per definition, the time of year where many of us vow to make our lives better, improve and better ourselves. Have you made any for yourself this year? I have. But before I tell you mine, let me just take a guess… Your resolution involves your health? Either ‘get in shape’, lose weight, quit smoking, cut down on drinking, or all of the above? Before the end of this column, I’ll give you some tips to achieve your goal, but first let me tell you mine.

As a fitness professional, I’ve always loved helping people lead a more active life – accomplish a new skill, hit a number (on the scale or on exercises) or reach a milestone, but I’ve decided that this year, I will educate myself further, to be better equipped to help others.   

I received an email during the Christmas Holidays from an old Thaiboxing student. She used to be a regular in my Cork class, but she dropped out shortly before we moved to England, and I’ve only been Facebook friends with her since. The mail she sent me was short and sweet. It said she missed the classes, she missed my teaching and most importantly for me, she missed the way I made her believe in herself. She’s on a mission to lose weight, and she was struggling to find the motivation and confidence to continue on her journey. I wrote her back, and I hope, was able to support and strengthen her resolve and it made me reflect on my role as a coach, as a trainer. That, even years after meeting someone, you still are ‘the coach’. It warmed my heart, but also filled me with a new sense of responsibility. I want to be a better coach and trainer for her, for future clients and for myself!

Back to your New Year Resolutions, did I get it right earlier? Are you looking to improve your health? Shrink a pants size, lose the cigarettes, build abs or ‘tone up’? A short answer to all of it is: EXERCISE.

Exercise is without a doubt, one of the best things you can do for yourself, whether you want to be fitter, lose weight, cut drinking or smoking. But it is not the whole answer. The whole answer is that if weightloss is your goal, your money might be better spent with a nutritionist than the gym, and quitting smoking is not only helped by strong willpower, but also by having a plan of action that is tailor-made for YOU. This coming year, I will hopefully be able to expand my fitness column with tips to all of this, but for now, I’ll let you in on my own little ‘Do It Yourself’ fitness trick.

When time is short and there’s a lot to do, training sessions tend to be pushed down the priority list because they are time consuming, even if you train at home. However, you don’t need a full hour or even half an hour to get things done. My shortest sessions are only 15 minutes and they work my heart and body as much as an hour session with weights in the gym.

15-minute home workout

You need a deck of cards and a timer. Choose four different drills, each to match a colour

and a suit. For example Spades are push-ups, Hearts are sit-ups, Clubs are jumping jacks and Diamonds are squats. (If you find them too easy or too hard, feel free to replace them with something more suited to you).

Now shuffle the cards, and draw one at the time. Each card has a number (Jacks =11, Queens=12, Kings=13 and Aces=14), do the exercise matching the suit, for the number the cards tell you.

Remember to get the best benefits from this; Go from one exercise to the next for the whole duration. No time for water or break in these 15 minutes. The best part is that you can play this game with others. Simply take turns drawing a card. Perform the exercise (eg 4 Hearts = 4 Sit ups).

As you get good at this game, you can replace the exercises or add an extra five minutes if you have got the time. I suggest doing this every other day, or alternate with going for walk, swim, bikerides or gym visits on the days you’re too bored with this. Just remember consistency is the key to change and every day is a new chance to do so, so grab yours!

If you have any questions to the 15-minute home workout, or other fitness-related ones, you are welcome to mail me. All mails will be handled confidentially, but if your question can help others, I may ask if it’s ok to be published (anonymously) along with the answer. You can contact me here: taniaskitchenfitness@gmail.com.

Latest News Articles:

Sam Maguire School Tour launched
Fundraising drive to get Kinsale students to World Robotics Championships to Kentucky
Answer the Call to save lives on March 23
Clonakilty students return from trip of a lifetime to rural Malawi
Clonakilty Fairtrade Fortnight celebrates 15 years
€44 million to improve Cork roads
Clonakilty Access Group AGM hears of many frustrations and challenges for people with disabilities in the town
Schull student scoops top invention award at BT Young Scientist
Schull Garda Station wins ‘Leading Light in Road Safety’ award from Road Safety Authority
Go quackers at the 2018 West Cork Bird Race

Join us on Facebook

Wave to Mary! 65-year-old Mary Nolan Hickey is running around the entire coast of the Island of Ireland to raise funds & awareness for the RNLI and is currently running the roads of West Cork.

Mary is the only woman to have completed every single Dublin Marathon (all 38 of them). She’s also completed the grueling Marathon des Sables in the Sahara Desert, known as the ‘toughest foot race on earth’.

To mark her 50th year involved in Athletics Mary is taking on her biggest challenge yet (even though she thought she’d already done that when completing the Dublin Marathon when she was over six months pregnant!) She wants to raise as much money as possible for the RNLI.

Mary started her epic journey in Arklow, Co. Wicklow, on New Year’s Day. She aims to cover up to 5000 kilometers, using coastal routes, over the next five months. She hopes to get back in time to get her first pension payment in June when she turns 66.

Mary will stop off at as many RNLI stations as possible, on her once in a lifetime adventure. As far as she knows no other woman has ever taken on this challenge.

Speaking about her journey Mary said:

“I wanted to prove that age not a barrier. Coming from a coastal town I have a deep affinity with our local RNLI station & volunteers and have huge admiration for the brave men and women who risk their lives to save lives at sea”.

Mary, who’s depending on the goodwill of communities along her route for accommodation, has been astounded by the response so far. “The support has been overwhelming,” she said. “I have met the most amazing and encouraging people along the way”.

To see more about Mary’s adventures, and to pinpoint her location today, check out her Facebook page - rnlilapofthemap2018.

... See MoreSee Less

20th March, 2018  ·  


This Saturday the 10th March, will see some magically curious activity as local Bandon national schools compete in a Wizarding Harry Potter Quiz. The prize will be the beautiful Bandon Banshee Perpetual Cup.

As any Harry Potter enthusiast knows, Bandon has the unique honour of having a character named after the town. The Bandon Banshee, was referred to as the nemesis of Gilderoy Lockhart in the Chamber of Secrets. The book grossed €60 million in sales and was the 7th highest earning film of all time.

Locals, looking to enhance the town for young people, saw the quiz as an ideal way promote the connection. The universally absorbing book series brings young readers on a huge adventure of magic, adversity and triumph. It is also an exploration of loyalty and friendship, good and evil – so it is not only popular way to engage young people, it is a hugely positive connection.

Zoe Tennyson, one of the organisers said they were delighted with the response from schools who ran a qualifying quiz as part of World Book Day. On Saturday Bandon Town Hall will be transformed into Hogwarts Great Hall, with proceeds going Bandon Playground Group, and to cover costs of the event.

Bandon Books will be rewarding the winning team with vouchers to each of the five members. The Bandon Banshee, or Bean-sidhe na Bandaan Perpetual Cup will be hotly contested – but which school will the Banshee go to??

If you have any questions please call Marguerite McQuaid on 087 900 9494
... See MoreSee Less

8th March, 2018  ·  

Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
... See MoreSee Less

20th February, 2018  ·  

Did you know..... ... See MoreSee Less

Main course

17th February, 2018  ·  

Jump to: