New year health and fitness resolutions – seeking support from your flatmates

2015 new year resolutions1

Happy new year! As you struggle to remember it’s now 2015 every time you write down the date, comes the annual health-fitness whim(s): joining the gym, eating more healthily or the more temporary but equally dreaded “Dry January”.

Some of us are lucky enough to be renting with health-freak housemates, who live and breath zumba, drink nothing but smoothies and have no shame in sharing every single fitness achievement on Facebook (no matter how small or pathetic). But for others who live with err.. less active flatmates, trying to be healthy can be a constant battle.

Below we’ve come up with some glorious and joyful tips and tricks to help you avoid temptation, and even gain support from your flatmates on your 2015 new year health kick:

1. Brainwash your flatmates

Talk your flatmate into joining you on your health / fitness / non-alcohol mission, as always: a problems shared is a problem halved.

2. Do exercise you actually enjoy

Running can be so boring and the gym is expensive, there are loads of other alternatives, use meetup to find exciting fitness activities for you and your flatmate in your area.

3. When the going gets tough – run / hide

Make yourself scarce when any truly testing times come up: housemate planning a house party or flatmate throwing a burger eating competition? Best make alternative plans / hide in your room.

4. Measure your winnings

Remind yourself (and others in your flatshare) of how much money and calories you’re saving by not indulging in so much alcohol, using Cancer Research UK’s nifty Dryathlon calculator.

5. Become a health food nerd

Get in the know of the hippest food trends of 2015: apparently we’ll be eating lots of freekeh, bone broth and bee pollen (it might even help you and your houseshare in the next pub quiz outing).

6. Drive a car

Be the designated driver: this way the law will be on your side and your housemates will love you more (only works if you can drive / have a car mind).

7. Replace with a lesser evil

Replace unhealthiness with alternative sources of happiness you can share with your flatmates:

8. Turn your flat into the Priory

Get your housemates to hide / lock up your booze or other unhealthy consumables, to rid yourself of any temptation.

9. Make exercise a game

Never take the easy option but turn it into a competition: race your housemates up the stairs while they take the escalator, walk don’t bus etc…

How to defend your flatshare from damp and mould

Rising damp problems flatshare

Damp and mould are the worst things ever. God knows where they come from and good luck getting your landlord to sort it out. It makes your house smell, it looks horrible, it’s slowing destroying your home and it’s the reason that chesty cough of yours just won’t shift. It’s the enemy you’re always battling with. And in these wet winter months you just know it’s winning the fight.

The truth is most inner city houses have damp. It’s annoying but pretty unavoidable. It’s also pretty tricky to sort out. He’s a few things that can help whilst your landlord calls a roofer.

1) Call your landlord, stupid.

We know what you’re thinking, you hate calling your landlord. Yes, we do to. But damp can be quite a serious issue and they’ll be grateful you’ve notified them. It’s their responsibility and, ultimately, their problem. Nag them till they come round.

2) Open your windows

Again, we appreciate that this is fairly obvious. But when you’ve got damp, it needs to be aired.

3) Keep moisture out of the room

Damp naturally feeds off moisture. Don’t feed it. As well as keeping that window open, make sure you’re not drying your washing in the room or leaving saucepans full of water lying around. It all contributes and, whilst stopping these things won’t make your damp go away, it will help stop it getting worse.

4) Get an extractor fan

(or make sure the one you have works)

Your extractor fan is your portal to a damp free house. They’re essential to bathrooms and kitchens and, to be fair, most places already have one installed. If you don’t, get onto your landlord! If you do, make sure it’s actually working.

5) Turn the heat up

Look, we know you’re consciousness of your bills. But you need to turn that heat up (or at least to something reasonable) in order to dry those walls and get the wet out.

6) Clean the damp area and paint over it

This won’t fix your problem, but the anti-mould paint does help cover the stains. All you need to do is clean the wall, let it dry, and apply the paint (which you can buy anywhere). Out of sight, out of mind.

7) Buy a dehumidifier

It’s a bit of an indulgence, but a dehumidifier will take the moisture out and leave you, virtually, damp free.

Image courtesy of Tom Parnell, licensed under CC BY 2.0