Let’s be honest here. The party season is about to kick off, full of temptation. Christmas lunches, party buffets, and a ton of nibbles with a drink or two. Over-indulging on delicious meals, melt-in-the-mouth chocolates, sumptuous pies and freshly baked cakes is part and parcel of the holiday experience.
Come January, with waistlines expanded and pants tighter, we’re like lemmings heading to the gym to repent for our turkey-fest. And then we hit Chinese New Year, and get stuck into another round of banquets and family meals.
So what can we do to keep ourselves in shape? We asked our new members at theDesk, GuavaPass, to give us their top tips to keep us from becoming couch potatoes, without skimping on the fun and festivities.
Stop with the excuses already
“You tell yourself ‘I don’t have the time’ or ‘it’ll be one of my resolutions’ or even ‘I’m not worrying about that right now’. But an hour of exercise is only 4% of your day. There’s really no excuse that works,” GuavaPass tells us. And they should know.
As one of Asia’s leading fitness and lifestyle providers, they understand that the last thing on most of our minds is sweating through a vigorous workout. The company recently joined theDesk at our big and beautiful new workspace in Causeway Bay.
Besides finding a time to fit in your daily workout, Guavapass shared some choice tips you can follow over the next few months that’ll make a big change to your energy, health and overall fitness. Stick to these and you’ll thank yourself down the line.
1) Go for the healthy alternatives
Being health conscious over the holidays doesn’t mean you have to miss out on those decadent meals, and sit on the sidelines at parties.
There is always a way to turn a meal healthy, even if it is only slightly. If you’re at a brunch, find the healthiest few options and stick to them.
Scones, pastries and processed meats might be delicious for a moment, but they wreak havoc on your cravings, spike your insulin levels and reduce your ability to burn fat for the rest of the day.
There’s usually more than enough options for you to make good choices. So make them!
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2) Drink more water
Monday to Friday we’re usually conscious of the amount of water we drink, but come Saturday our worries about hydration go out the window. The same goes for this festive season.
There’s not much time during these high intensity weeks and weekends to worry about whether or not you’ve got your three litres in. But, making sure you’re drinking plenty of water is one of the easiest ways to keep on top of your health.
Firstly, staying hydrated means you won’t eat as much, as thirst is often mistaken for hunger by a lot of people.
Secondly, drinking water throughout meals will not only keep any potential hangover at bay, but will also be a big help to your digestion, making the next day easier in a number of ways.
3) Avoid those liquid calories
For a lot of us, this holiday season means more food and especially more drinks. And although one of the easiest ways to control your weight is to avoid drinking altogether, for most this is too tall order of an order.
But keep in mind, drinking wine, punch, cocktails or beer is an easy way to consume the calorie equivalent of a large meal. Say you pair a long lunch with a glass or two of red wine, a dessert wine and a nice cocktail to finish, the drinks alone would sit at 350 – 400 calories, that’s 1/5th of your recommended daily intake.
Avoid drinking your calories by sticking to water-based drinks and spirits, for example vodka, lime, sodas or tequila sodas. Sounds good, right?
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4) Keep active
Planning your workouts ahead of time, like most things, is the easiest way to stick to a routine. If your days are hectic, get your workout in and done first thing in the morning.
If your mornings are filled up, use your lunchtime to get active. Not only will this keep you on track, but it will make getting back into your usual exercise regime even easier later on.
While Guavapass offers flexible membership programmes, so you can cancel anytime. But let’s be honest, folks, a workout, a yoga session or another activity is a great way to keep the festive flab at bay.
5) Understand your climate
Travelling during the holiday season? If you’re coming from Asia, most places in Europe and America are freezing this time of year.
Being fit doesn’t just mean your body fat percentage stays low; it also means you’re active and healthy.
Be prepared for the change in weather and layer up! If you’re susceptible to these types of sicknesses, make sure you pack medication before you leave.
One neat thing about GuavaPass is that with an unlimited package you can use your pass when you travel to other cities. So, if you’re in Bangkok, Dubai, Singapore and many other cities, you can check the local schedules and attend sessions as you would if you were home.
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6) Relax, recharge and refresh
The holidays are a time to relax and recharge your batteries. Though you might be going to back to office parties, family dinners and other seasonal celebrations, make sure you take time for yourself.
And don’t be mean on yourself. If you’re stressing excessively about the amount you’re eating or the number of treats you’re having, keep in mind that stress is one of the easiest ways to put on weight.
It doesn’t mean you should throw out the rules you’ve set for yourself, but it does mean you should cut yourself a little slack. And don’t skimp on having a fantastic holiday, wherever you are.