A brilliant recovery from too much partying is easily accomplished with some great food, a bit of exercise and some dedicated “you” time!
Crazy times, late night parties or a few too many wines at the work social? It only takes one or two events in the festive season to leave you feeling less than fabulous. Instead of reaching for an aspirin and the snooze button, there’s an art and science to what’ll help you return to form.
Of course, I wouldn’t be your personal best-health-ever guru if I didn’t suggest being sensible with alcohol, late nights and party supplements. Too much of a fun thing can smack your health and head around. But, hey, I’ve been around enough to know that when in a party mood, occasionally the wheels either loosen a little or come off entirely, despite best intentions. For those times, this recovery guide is for you!
Not getting enough sleep means you don’t enjoy your waking life as much. Why waste potentially amazing experiences by being tired all the time?
Sleep deprivation leads to all sorts of nasties for your health, too – vagueness, mild anxiety, and elevated “bad” hormones that will make you crave sugars and fats while breaking down muscle tissue. Not fun!
Recent research proves that it is better to bank up extra z’s before losing a night’s sleep than to play catch-up afterwards. Store up two to three nights of 10-hour sleeps before a huge event or weekend. You will be back to form quicker than if you took five to six of those long sleeps after the event.
If your party is an impromptu affair it might not be possible to plan extra sleep beforehand. a general rule of thumb is to recapture as many of the lost snooze hours as possible, if you missed eight hours, catch up eight hours. Sleep, especially ReM sleep, is your key to psychological and physical recovery – like hitting a “refresh” button. Take extra power naps and long nighttime sleeps and you’ll speedily return to your usual sensational self!
Your body needs fuel to replenish and water, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to stay in great balance. think natural and organic, not processed or greasy! You’ll feel much better and recover faster. This is where planning comes in handy. have a ready supply of good-quality foods around the home for afterwards. the following are quick, healthy and all benefit your ailing body and mind:
• Fresh fruit – bananas contain good fibre organic or low-fat/low-sugar yoghurt. Many sweet types of yoghurt are almost closer to candy than real yoghurt.
• Water, tea and juices – plenty of these please! Flush out toxins, help bathe your internal organs and cleanse your skin from the inside with plenty of fluids. throughout your festivities keep up water intake to avoid dehydration. Try a splash of lime, pomegranate or guava juice to flavour plain or soda water. If you’ve really hit it hard, it may be worthwhile getting some rehydration salts.
• Vegetables and salads – granted, not the most tempting when you’re looking for a quick fix, but keep some chopped up in the fridge ready to snack on. Make them colourful and bite size and you’ll be surprised how appealing they are when you’re tired and can’t be bothered making anything else.
• Cocoa or dark chocolate – really can help soothe a ravaged body and soul, but only if you get high-cocoa variety. It’s anti-inflammatory, mood boosting and antioxidant.
Laughter is indeed one of the best medicines. Prepare a DVD “rescue pack” of your favourite funny movies/TV series for the day after or arrange to hang out with friends who cheer you up.
Book in some good “you” time, too. spend at least 30 minutes being somewhere or with someone that makes you feel special, or doing something you love. Read, sit in a park, listen to your favourite music, chat to or hug a loved one (pets included!) and take a moment to just enjoy it. The psychological boost of surrounding yourself with fun and familiarity is backed up with a flood of good hormones that’ll get you chirpy in no time!
This is the hardest part to commit to but one of the most potent for blasting through mental, emotional and metabolic sluggishness. The goal here is to get back to your regular exercise schedule as soon as your body is ready (not necessarily your mind, which will come up with all sorts of excuses!).
Once you’ve ticked off most of the boxes above in terms of food, sleep and adequate water, it is time to get your sorry butt moving – usually within a day or so of calling the party over.
Start light and don’t expect to push it on your first session back. Just make sure not to wait too long before restarting – trust me!
Cardio: A long walk or light jog does wonders for your heart, lungs and clearing your head. Ask any avid runner! if you can, take in some sunshine, greenery and a few hills. Rowing, biking, hiking and swimming are also fine but require you to use more equipment and care, so should be left until a little later in your recovery period.
Weights: If you’re feeling fragile, machine weights set to about 60 to 70 per cent of what you’d normally do are excellent. Don’t expect to do
your normal workout intensity, but put in a decent effort. three sets of 15 reps at a slow, measured lifting pace and covering at least half your body can work wonders. While you’re not really aiming to build muscle on this recovery workout, the powerful hormonal effects of weights training will neutralise some of the ill effects of too little sleep or depression.
A fun life and good health don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Keep prepared with plenty of sleep, good food and rest. If you slip uponce in a while, relax! enjoy the experience and then commit to sleeping, eating and exercising your way back to perfect wellbeing afterwards.