SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST
As Christmas draws near so does the party season and all its food, drinks, late nights and lazy days. But as your social calendar goes into overdrive, it can feel like your healthy regime is going out the window. Annie Kirwan, Pilates and yoga instructor and lululemon ambassador, gives us her top tips to stay sane and healthy through the festivities...
My number one festive tip is to enjoy yourself! Especially if you are pretty strict with your health regime, it is important to let your hair down and have fun. These will be special memories that will last a lifetime. So, celebrate! However, the biggest challenge is to do this without losing the run of ourselves. These tips will help you find the balance amongst the madness...
1. Choose your nights wisely.
As tempting as it is to go to every night you are invited, this is never a wise call. Come January you will be broke, feeling blue and wondering how it all went so wrong! For the sake of your mental health, waistline and bank account do make sure to take some time off. Prioritise the things that you really want to go to and ditch any unnecessary nights out. Balancing them with nights in can be a great alternative. Take it back to your childhood days and invest in a good board game (like Articulation and Balderdash Cranium!) and invite friends and family around for a night of laughs and recuperation!
2. Eat up.
We all know prep is so important before a big night out! Tan, hair, nails etc. But don't forget food prep. On the day of a big night out, a good hearty meal can be a life saver. Drinking on an empty stomach is never a good idea (especially at your work Christmas party!). Choose meals with complex carbs and good fats, such as rice and avocado, which will help slow down the release of alcohol into your body. You will not only feel better throughout the night but also the next day too.
3. Not all drinks are created equal.
As delicious as cocktails and wine can be, they can be heavy on calories and a little too easy to drink. Try to keep them to a minimum and choose drinks with hydrating mixers such as sparkling or soda water. Even better advice is to keep alcohol to a minimum throughout the night and to alternate between water and alcoholic drinks. Your body will thank you for it later.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Louder for the people at the back, HYDRATE!! Drink plenty of water before you go out, during the night, when you get home and throughout the next day. Most of the nasty symptoms of a hangover are due to dehydration, so just keep drinking the good stuff. Some coconut water, which is full of electrolytes, can be super to help replenish your system.
5. Nothing but the best.
Christmas definitely means a lot more food intake, which is part of the fun. But keep your standards high. At work, at home and out and about you may be surrounded by selection boxes, mince pies, crisps and all sorts of junk foods. As easy as it to eat them in two seconds flat, eating unhealthy processed foods is a fast track to feeling awful. Keep your food standards in check, aiming to eat good quality ingredients. Be prepared with healthy treats, nuts and seeds, dark chocolate and cheese boards. You can indulge and enjoy while still making good choices.
A night of partying can take its toll on your body. As wonderful as it might sound to stay in PJs and order a take away, now is the time your body needs healthy food more than ever. Smoothies full of turmeric, ginger and greens can do wonders to revive you. If you tend to be a little delicate after partying and know you won't be able to face cooking, be prepared by making some delicious snacks and dinner the day before. Your future hungover self will be so grateful!
7. Get active.
Throughout the festive season don't let your workout routine slip away. You mightn't get to your usual gym or Pilates class, but get up and be active as much as you can, especially if you have been out the night before. Write your fitness plans in your diary, fitting them realistically around all your nights out and meet ups, and be committed to stick to them. A hike with friends is a lovely way to clear your mind, get some fresh air and keep your steps up. A win, win, win!