By Lauren Cowie
22 January 2024

Welcome to a well-balanced year

As we bid adieu to the festive season and settle back into the rhythm of daily life, it’s not uncommon to feel a bit of post-holiday sluggishness. The shift from holiday cheer to the regular routine can be challenging, but it’s also an opportunity for a revitalising start to the new year.

Instead of succumbing to the January blues, let’s view this time as a chance to refresh and rejuvenate. By reintegrating routines, setting realistic goals, and injecting moments of joy into our daily lives, we can conquer the post-holiday slump.

In this edition of our wellness newsletter, we’re here to guide you on how to make small, positive changes that set a vibrant tone for the months ahead.



Alright, let’s chat about those big new year’s resolutions. We all start the year with grand plans, but let’s be real – most of us don’t check all the boxes. Why? Maybe because our goals are a bit like a fuzzy photo – unclear and a tad confusing.

Experts suggest diving into specifics. Don’t overwhelm yourself with an epic list; small, doable changes can pack a powerful punch and beat an overwhelming inventory any day.

Cut yourself some slack; setbacks are part of the game. A setback doesn’t mean you’re a failure; it means tomorrow’s another shot at success. So, as we stare at the blank canvas of 2024, let’s set intentions that are real, doable, and exciting. This year, let’s make personal growth less of a lofty dream and more of an achievable reality.



Unsurprisingly a lot of new year’s resolutions are focused on exercise, and whether you’ve got a marathon in your sights or simply want to move more in 2024 , thermal bathing could be your new secret weapon.

Warm waters are a game-changer for prepping your muscles and aiding recovery. Studies say heat therapy boosts blood flow, loosens muscles, and adds a touch of flexibility – perfect for both pre and post-workout.

Before you hit the gym, dip into mineral waters for a warm-up. It gets the blood pumping and your muscles limber. Pair it with some easy stretches for the full pre-game experience.

Post-exercise, after your muscles have cooled down a bit, treat yourself to a thermal soak as it promotes relaxation, aids recovery, and complements the natural healing process your body goes through after a good workout. It’s like a reward for your muscles – they’ve earned it!



Somebody who knows a thing or two about preparing for the new season is Alba favourite, Collingwood stalwart, and reigning premiership Captain, Darcy Moore. Below, Darcy generously shares insights into his pre-season routine and discusses how he prioritises wellness amidst his hectic schedule.

Q. As a professional athlete, how do you approach your pre-season preparation differently compared to regular-season training?

Pre-season is all about load, load and more load! The more training I can subject my body to over these months, the better I am going to perform in-season. This means pushing the envelope with intensity, duration and style of team training sessions but also taking the time to recover in between sessions to ensure that I can maximise the time that I am training.

This is also complemented by strength sessions in the gym, and lots of physiotherapy work to strengthen the smaller muscles that keep me on the field and manage pain. Because training loads are so high in this phase, energy levels are often low in day-to-day life and dealing with different soreness and bodily fatigue is a constant challenge. However, there is no pressure to perform in this phase- as opposed to when we are playing games in front of thousands of fans!

Q. What specific wellness goals do you set for yourself as you enter a new year and a new season?

For me, it’s all about drawing boundaries when I need to. As the captain of the premiership team, the requests never stop! Organising club appearances, fan engagement, media commitments, commercial responsibilities and leading the team takes up lots of time and requires lots of organisation- but it can also cause burn out.

So this year I want to take more time to put my phone away, remove myself from the pressures of the job, and focus on my inner world and practice some more introspection and reflective practice. For me this means lots of reading, some meditating and no bloody emails!!!

Q. How do you prioritise mental well-being alongside physical fitness in your overall approach to pre-season training?

As a professional athlete, once the physical fundamentals of my game have been set, it is all about the mind. This means ensuring that I am practicing the mental skills that are going to help me perform on the field. Things like decision-making, problem-solving, strategic thinking, dealing with pain, managing fatigue, communicating effectively. These are all mental skills I can practice in pre-season training. It also means ensuring that in my lifestyle choices away from the field I am prioritising my mental wellbeing to make sure that when I am walking into the football club, I am ready to train, and am feeling excited and passionate about the job! When I get these decisions wrong, it can lead to burn out and makes the job feel like a real grind. So being self-aware enough to manage my mental wellbeing in my downtime is a big part of high-performance.

Q. Have you discovered any wellness offerings or services at Alba that you find particularly beneficial during the pre-season?

I think the whole experience of Alba has really helped take my recovery to a new level. I have definitely learned that there is value in investing in rest and recovery in such a beautiful, architectural space. Being in such a well-designed and calming physical space makes the recovery even more effective for the mind. The mixture of massage services, the mineral pools and the steam features is really the perfect way to spend a day off and rest a tired body.


One way of easing yourself back into the New Year is to ensure fun and relaxation doesn’t end when work and school goes back. Making sure your calendar is marked with adventures to anticipate is one sure way to extend that blissful holiday feeling.

Alba and local legends Ten Minutes by Tractor have teamed up to create an experience that will definitely put a spring in your step and help you start the new year smiling.

Arrive at Alba in the afternoon to explore the 22 warm and inviting thermal springs, ready and waiting to wash away any stress. After soaking up the goodness, head to the award winning Ten Minutes by Tractor Restaurant to enjoy a five-course tasting menu, showcasing the best seasonal produce. It’s a treat for your taste buds that you won’t forget in a hurry.

So, there you have it—sip, soak, and savour. It’s the perfect way to start your year right.