January 12, 2023 by Julieann Spence
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We don’t know about you but the phrase ‘New year, new you’ leaves us cold. Rather than creating a whole new version of ourselves – the pressure! – we like the idea of taking smaller, more realistic steps to overall health and wellbeing. The little things that make a big difference to how we feel in winter.

A dose of Vitamin D courtesy of a walk or run in one of our borough’s gorgeous parks or outdoor spaces, for instance. Eye candy + Step count, sorted. Catching up with friends over a refreshing juice or hearty meal – all bursting with good stuff – too.

However you wish to spend the first month of the year, our six urban centres all offer something unique to get your year off to a feel-good start. So, whether it’s sweating it out at the gym or snuggling up on the sofa with a book that floats your boat, read on to discover our top 5 tips.


1. Dose up on free Vitamin D

There’s nothing better than a blast of fresh air and natural light in beautiful surroundings to blow away the January cobwebs. And our borough is bursting with gorgeous parks, outdoor spaces, wildlife, cycle paths, walking trails, and water-based activities. 

As a starter for ten: you have Banbridge’s skatepark, Craigavon Lakes, Armagh’s famous Gosford Park (keep an eye out for the deer), Dromore Park with its captivating viaducts, Lurgan’s Oxford Island National Nature Reserve, and the People’s Park in Portadown. 

*Pulling on our walking boots as we write!*

Discover these gems and loads more, here


2. Get your endorphin fix

 Some of us love nothing more than getting back into the gym in January.

And whether your thing is high-intensity cardio, swimming, spin or a soothing yoga session, with a post-session sauna, you’ll get your fix in our urban centres.

There’s Dromore Community Centre with its four-courts sports hall and outdoor bowling; Craigavon and Banbridge’s leisure centres, exciting fitness emporiums and independent studios in Lurgan, Portadown and Armagh City – and loads of local classes in each borough offering new things to try.

Discover more at UrbanABC.com


3. Get kitted out and feel the part 

Sometimes just pulling on a new pair of trainers is enough to get motivated for exercise. And you’ll find a vast array of places to get new fitness gear in the borough – from independent sports shops to retail park megastores.

Head to the Spires Retail Park in Armagh City for a one-stop shop at Sports Direct – or the Boulevard in Banbridge for Nike and Adidas shops. Discover an O’Neill’s Sports Superstore in Craigavon (and more sports stores at Rushmere Shopping Centre) – or browse independent stores in Dromore, Lurgan and Portadown and support local businesses. 

January is a great time for picking up new kit at tasty sale prices, too. Go, go, go!


4. Explore our health stores

Apparently, only 8% of us stick to our New Year resolutions (says it all!) but there is an easy way to introduce extra goodness into our daily lives. With Vitamins and supplements – alongside lots of fresh fruit and veg, and exercise, of course.

Whether it’s probiotics for good gut health, B vitamins for more energy, melatonin for better sleep or Vitamin D3 for an overall super-health boost, you’ll find great health stores in each of our six urban centres.

Find big high street names and independent stores in Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon and Lurgan – and indie shops and smaller, specialised health stores in Dromore and Portadown.


5. Embrace our restaurant and retail scene 

Making lots of time to relax and chill is also essential for boosting wellbeing and facing winter head on. Take a trip into any of our urban centres and you’ll find markets selling delicious freshly-baked and freshly-grown food, along with local cafes and eateries serving hearty seasonal dishes – to help you feel good from the inside out.

You can get your retail fix in the January Sales, too.

Find book stores – big, small and vintage – to find your perfect New Year read. Discover clothes stores and independent boutiques to pick up cosy knitwear and /or PJs. Pharmacies and beauty stores to pick up essential pampering products – and interior stores for cushions, throws and accessories to turn your home into a spa-like sanctuary.


As you can probably tell, we’ll be partaking in a mix of all five!

We’d love to hear your New Year health wellbeing tips – and about any of your favourite spots to exercise, shop or chill. Loop us in on social by tagging us @urbanabc or using the hashtag #UrbanABC



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