Top ten hobbies to take up in 2012

What better way to kick of the year than learning a brand spanking new talent?

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Like many other walking cliches, we're kicking off the year with a health binge. First up? Zumba. The new-ish craze is a latin-inspired dance fitness program which came to be when an aerobics instructor forgot his music one day. He used his personal music as a result and improvised! What a hero.

Check out this Zumba demo video and see if you think you can keep up with these shimmying ladies. If your up for it, ring around your local gyms, enquiring about classes and prices. Alternatively, go all-in with this Zumba Fitness Kit and work out with your friends in the comfort of your own home. Even better, you won't have to cough up each time you take part!

If Zumba is going to make us anything as happy as the people pictured here, then we're in for a GREAT January...


Learn a new language

We've already learnt one sentence of great importance in two whole languages. Go us!

Ich liebe


Ahem. Clearly we have a long way to go. We should probably invest in some teach-yourself material to ensure we learn the basics of any new language we take on. Similarly, podcasts are a cheap and effective way of learning, since you can hear what words should sound like. Here is a comprehensive list of 40 languages you can start learning for free!

Formal classes can be expensive so if you don't have the funds and would really like one-to-one sessions, search Tutorhunt or Gumtree to try and find an available tutor near you.


Join a book group

Many people always say they wish they read more. So why not join a book group? If you can't seem to locate any going on near you, you could always set up your own with your friends and recruit via Facebook. Not only will you be taking a break from any compulsory uni reading material but you might just meet some lovely new people. Daaw.

To avoid the cost of having to buy a new book every month, join your local library or try out one of these tried-and-tested book swapping sites. Alternatively, if you're lucky enough to own a device that plays e-books, there are plenty of free (and cheap) classics available.


Cook up a storm

If there's one resolution we're going to desperately try to stick to in 2012, it's to cook more. No. more. takeaways. Well, maybe some. But whatever happens, we're going to try some fun new recipes to welcome the year in.

Speaking of amazing recipes, did you SEE the Oreo and Twix cheesecake recipe? Yes? Well, have another look, you deserve it. Now go ahead and make them. You really won't regret it.

And then of course you'll want to make the 7up Cookies and Chocolate mug cake...

Pick up from where you left off at school and get stuck into the painting game. There's no rules any more. You can do what you like!

If you don't fancy yourself as the next Van Gough (minus the ear thing), you could always just sit and watch it dry. No, really.

Alternatively, you could go all nu-age and start designing using your iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad (oo er). The best thing? No mess to clear up once you're done!

Become the new Jackson Pollack with the, er, Jackson Pollack app. Great for kooky wallpaper designs or simple procrastination.

If ease and simplicity are what you're after, Draw may just be the design app for you. This one turns the screen into a sketchbook, enabling you to draw with the effect of different coloured pencils.

**Highly regarded as the best paint app, Brushes features everything from advanced colours, multiple layers, zoom and much, much more.

Whether you get together to play with your mates or get involved with outside groups, poker is a fun and alternative night in. Well, maybe only if you're on a winning streak.

Check out the Ultimate Card Games here and learn to play poker like the best of them...

...And test out your skills here!

Brrrr, it's chilly. You probably need a nice cosy scarf for that brisk walk to lectures, right? Well how about you MAKE one. This incredibly soundtracked YouTube video will tell you all about the basics of knitting. Now all you need to do is warn everyone to expect woolly items for every birthday to come...


Learn an instrument

Not touched a musical instrument since the recorder back in infant school? Why not test your skills on something new and become the next Elton John/Vanessa Mae/Jimi Hendrix? If you don’t want to go down the regular learn-and-take-exams route, you could always coerce a friend to teach you, advertise for a cut price 'amateur' tutor at uni or even invest in some teach-yourself material.

YouTube is also a goldmine for basic tutorials when it comes to the likes of guitar and piano. Learning this way in the fist instant means that you can have a little taster of what to expect and whether you're up to the challenge.

You can also use your iTunes account to download podcasts and instructional videos such as Songmaster iVideosongs.


Take up Am Dram

Fancy yourself as the next big thesp? Drama doesn't have to stop at school, even if you did give it up pre-GCSE. If you want to branch out and get involved with local theatre, you can search for your town or city on and discover which amateur dramatics groups are available near you.

Your university almost certainly will have productions and drama societies that you can get involved in too.

Whether you're a hard-working writer looking to add to your CV and bulk up your portfolio or you just want to have a rant about the contestants in this year's Celebrity Big Brother, you might find your calling as a blogger. If you can't face setting one up by your self and making you own name, why not get in touch with our chums at the Huffington Post and join bloggers like Noel Gallagher and Tony Blair.

Find out more here.