Labor Day weekend is here, which means it’s time to prepare for a party that won’t leave us bloated, breaking the scale or beyond repair. As my health and fitness journey has continued to unfold, I’ve found myself focused more and more on how I feel instead of fitting into the perfect 6 pack or pair of pants. Getting bloated and lethargic at events is the last thing I want. Waking up with zero ability or desire to be productive the next day is not something I have time for. Being upset at myself for indulging past what was necessary is a process I never desire. The solution doesn’t have to be one of the extremes. Instead of locking yourself at home to avoid temptation or letting everything go and getting so drunk it doesn’t matter in that moment, choose a more balanced approach. Finding the middle ground when it comes to holiday weekends, parties, events and other outings means to perfect mix of fun and feeling great – both now and the next day!
Here are some tips to get you going down the path of finding a fun balance:
BRING YOUR OWN BBQ FEAST
While traditional BBQ options at parties are items like hotdogs and hamburgers, throw something on the grill that gets you going that extra mile. Meats that don’t need a bun, like chicken, steak or fish are a great way to give guests something delicious and nutritious. Use tin foil to make pouches of vegetables or pair fresh food from the barbie with cold salads on the side. Keep the party going and combine your protein and veggies on one incredible kebab! Kebabs and skewer meals are super easy to prepare ahead of time and even ready made to buy in almost all supermarkets. Grab your skewers, soak for at least 30 minutes if they’re wood, and then slide on chunks of chicken, beef, shrimp, extra firm tofu, peppers, onions, zucchini and yellow squash, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms and more!
Keeping your body hydrated is the number one key to success when it comes to finding a fun balance. Bring a big water bottle or a few smaller water bottles in your bag. Encourage the hosts to have some type of pitcher or cooler available, or if you’re the host, make it happen! Remember that you’ll be out and about for several hours, if not the entire day, so bring enough water to get you through all that AND alcohol or caffeine if you’re consuming them. That means, at least 64 ounces a day plus an extra 2 ounces for every serving of alcohol or caffeine you have.
Before you go to bed, drink at least an 8 ounce glass to get your body fully hydrated before hitting the sack. Drink another full glass right when you wake up to get your body going again!
TAKE YOUR VITAMINS
Before you head out the door to where ever the weekend takes you, make sure you have a multivitamin and a probiotic. These two powerhouses will help your body take on whatever you’re trowing into it and it will aid in your recovery process. Most of our “not so great” feelings during parties and wicked hangovers after the fact are due to a lack of giving our bodies what they really need. Aside from the previously discussed hydration requirement, our bodies need vitamins and minerals along with proper digestion. Most of the time, our celebrations are marked by less fruits and vegetables and more toxins. Make sure your body has the defenses it needs to handle all that and more.
GET SOME EXERCISE
BEFORE, DURING OR AFTER THE PARTY
Exercise is an incredible way to boost endorphins, burn off extra calories and break free from that sluggish after-party element. During a recent trip to Greece, I was shocked by the impact that hundreds of stairs had before and after nights of drinking and indulging on tons of delicious food. What would start as an early morning headache was completed gone after only 20-30 minutes of stairs and no pain killers at all. If you don’t have time for an exercise sesh before or after the party, create an activity within the party! Turn on some tunes and dance, start a game of tag or catch, add an exercise element into an existing drinking or just-for-fun game and BE CREATIVE! If you’re in a pool – SWIM! Break away from the wall and your umbrella beverage for some Marco Polo or just some fun “catch me if you can” laps around the pool. Not into getting your hair wet? Hold onto the wall and do some water barre! Click here to see a sweet run through of some fun water exercises you can get down on too!
To your perfect party life balance so you don’t skip a beat,