It’s party season. And while one part of you is eyeballing the glitter blush, there’s also a small voice whispering: Um, what are endless glasses of luke-warm vino, soft-cheese-and-fig-laden crackers and late nights going to do to my newfound fitness levels, zen brain and healthy eating vibes? It suddenly feels like all your efforts to stay clean and healthy (even sober) are under threat. You’ve worked way too hard to throw it all away, right? But what if we told you that maintaining balance and keeping healthy this summer was totally possible — even easy.
If your goal is to avoid overindulging over the festive season, we’ve got you. So, before RSVPing to that end-of-year braai that you know is going to end badly, pause and consider this. What if this summer, instead of endless nights out downing shots, you could do fun, cost-effective and health-promoting activities that made you feel amazing. Keen? Okay, let’s go.
1. How ’bout a night in?
Sounds like an impossible dream, right? Nope. This is actually the easiest, most cost-effective way to have fun. But while you’re binging on your favourite Netflix series, don’t fall into the takeaways trap. It costs waaayyy less to prepare your healthy movie night snacks at home. Even better: Make an activity out of creating healthy lounge snacks that promote physical and mental health.
Feel like getting a little bit more extravagant? (After all, you’re saving all those bucks by staying in.) Order a few UCOOK boxes and get busy creating meal masterpieces at home.
Take things a step further by suggesting a beauty night: think facials, foot spas and lingering lazily over the latest issue of your fave magazine, or diving into that book you’ve been dying to read. The options are infinite — and your body will thank you.
2. Come dine with me…
Invite a few friends over for a nourishing dinner, pick a movie and sip on home-made mocktails (we love Symmetry tonic essence — it comes in some insane flavours and just calls for soda water) or share a bottle of bubbly (readily available in 0% alcohol). It’ll accommodate anyone’s dietary needs without the headache of a hole in your pocket. Plus, it makes for fun bonding or an inexpensive date with bae. You’ve worked so hard, you deserve it!
3. Here comes the (healthy summer) sun
The days are longer, and if you step outside, what wonders you will find! Visiting a daytime food market (think Neighbourgoods) is the perfect way to while away a Saturday afternoon. There’s always fun food to try without messing with your body goals. If you’re lucky and live on the coast, go dip your toes in the sand and enjoy the calming ocean breeze. Soak up all that much-needed vitamin D for healthy bones and a lighter mood. Chase local music. Just make sure you’re spending most of your downtime outside.
4. Break a sweat
If you’re the sort of person who comes alive in the night-time, now you can make it memorable. The Women’s Health SA team will be hosting fun-filled fitness evenings that will take your girl-squad goals to new levels — all in safe spaces with a throng of strong like-minded women (so you don’t need to fret like you would on a solo evening run, which you shouldn’t be doing anyway). If you’re not doing it for the gram, do it for your health. Get your paws on tix for the first-ever Ministry of Fitness on Saturday 7 December in Jozi.
You can also kick start your 2020 by attending Fit Night Out, taking place in Cape Town. Tickets are currently on sale, so act fast and take advantage of the early Black Friday Special.
5. While others get low…
We go hiking! Circle the bandwagon and set off bright and early onto the trails. Nothing says healthy summer fun more than outdoor activities. It’s a great way to keep fit and bring the family together over the holidays. Just remember to stay hydrated, enjoy freshly-made snacks (dodge convenience foods), and then take in the views from the top. You’ll be one step closer to your wholesome summer goals… and your bank balance won’t need life support afterward.
You don’t have to wait for the countdown to start on your healthy lifestyle resolutions; after all, you’ve done so well so far. Beat the temptation and indulge in guilt-free fun that will not only keep you out of trouble, but also keeping you fit, healthy and leave you feeling rejuvenated. It’s been a long year, you deserve a little fun in the sun, a walk on the beach or a Fit Night Out.