T3's guide to surviving the party season: Feel your best...despite the excess
1. Party hard, exercise harder
Personal trainer Pete Luxford, www.peteluxford.com, on striking the right party/exercise balance at Christmas, plus a few tips on minimising the damage
“Rest days are important. Arrange your schedule so that your workout precedes the party and a rest day follows the day after. This way you get your workout, can let your hair down, and avoid the guilt of a missed workout the following day.”
“If you are planning a drink or two, try to get some complex carbs and protein. These will digest slowly so you will feel fuller, and your blood sugar levels will be better regulated, slowing the absorption of alcohol. If the quinoa and tofu bake are unavailable, a chicken sandwich or two, or baked potato with beans is a good substitute.”
“No one wants to be the guy having a lager and a glass of water, but matching water and booze drink for drink works. It helps hydration, thins the strength of the alcohol, and stops you drinking so much. You must also ensure you’re well rehydrated when working out. Don’t down as much water as possible following your exercise – you can only absorb so much at a time and your body will get rid of what it cannot process in time. Sip little and often over a period of hours to rehydrate properly.”
“Drink water and take two normal painkillers – ibuprufen, aspirin, paracetamol etc – before bed to avoid the first symptoms of pain and headaches. The following morning eat a normal breakfast. Fatty breakfasts are not going to help other than to add to the calorie intake and put more fat in your system. Brown toast and peanut butter is a good start as the carbs will help raise blood sugar levels and the protein in the peanut butter will slow digestion.”
“To avoid all of the above, don’t drink. Obviously
2. Essential health apps
“This uses your phone’s GPS and data capabilities to send its location to the Instamapper server. From there it can be plotted in real time on a map, much like being in CTU with Jack Bauer… or not as the case may be. Keep it running on a night out and if you do lose your phone, there’s a chance you’ll be able to see where it ended up.”
Price: Free on iPhone, Android, BlackBerry
Instant Heart Rate
“Illness, hangovers, tiredness, caffeine, excitement, stress, too much Red Bull: all of the above can affect your heart rate. If you are experiencing an elevated heart rate you will not be able to exercise at the same intensity for the same results as you can when it is at a normal level, so check it with this.”
Price: Free on Android
3. Be wary of calorie trackers (They are not all they're cracked up to be says Pete Luxford)
“There are hundreds of these calorie trackers on the market now and many of them advertise databases of 100,000 foods. However when you look into it they are always from the USA.
“This means you end up scrolling through hundreds of different ‘sausages’ only to find they don’t have Tesco’s listed. Also, a lot of recipes or figures are based on ounces and cups.
“Instead, I would suggest visiting www.nutracheckmen.co.uk. This isn’t an app per se but it does have a mobile site. It’s a simple, clean site that tracks food and calorie consumption from a UK database to which you can add your own foods.
“It will give a target intake based on height, weight, activity level, gender and age. You can also track exercise on it as well – handy should you need to raise your calorie allowance for the day.
“The mobile access is free, but you will need to join the main website which costs £20 per quarter.”
4. Be thankful
Writing a thank-you letter? Debrett’s etiquette advisor Jo Bryant reckons, just this once, you should ditch the tech…
“First, invest in some decent woven notepaper and a good quality pen. A thank you letter should always acknowledge the actual present – ‘thank you for the lovely jumper,’ not ‘thank you for your present’ – so that it’s personalised to the recipient. “There is no set length, but it should be a couple of short paragraphs at the least to show time, thought and care has gone into it. Include a snippet of personal news, too. Send it within a week to ten days of receiving a present.”