You’ve done it. Following a veritable smorgasbord of whatever food occupied the buffet line at your umpteenth holiday get-together, the dreaded sensation of not being able to move has set in. It’s a situation most people can relate to at one point or another. After loading up on green bean casserole, Christmas ham and that off-pink marshmallow fluff that exists for some reason, what can you do? Here are five of the best ways to work off that holiday bloat.
1. Walk It Off
What better way to stay active yet keep the festivities alive than by taking a walk around the neighborhood? Although you can easily perform this task solo, rounding up a small group will avoid the concerned chatter of “Where did he go?” once you head out the door.
Plus, there’s the added bonus of checking out the holiday decorations and enjoying the stars and cool, crisp air of a December evening. Just be sure not to include a stop at that all-too-convenient fast food joint on the way back. That’s not going to fix your holiday bloat problem.
2. Play Some Pickup Games
Basketball, football, whatever the sport may be, it’s not hard to imagine getting your blood moving with a game or even an impromptu snowball fight. Put on some warm outerwear and then hurry outdoors. Five minutes in and you’re sure to forget the frigid temperatures as you toss the spherical object back and forth in an attempt to achieve what some call “points.”
3. Have Fun with Charades
Though any parlor game where you have to rise from your seat to perform some sort of action could find a place on this list, charades remains a tried-and-true method. It promises to get you moving within the confines of a time limit while participating in a gesture-based guessing game anyone can play.
Assemble the teams at dinner and, if you really want to plan ahead, bring prizes for the lucky winner(s). Avoid anything consumable, as that’s only going to contribute to your holiday bloat. Instead, hand out things like gift cards or theater tickets.
4. Dance Like Nobody’s Watching
Not a dancer? Maybe if several others in attendance decide to join, you might change your tune a bit. No one cares if you can’t cut a rug. Just have fun and burn those calories off. You may even end up breaking a sweat. Who knew?
5. Drink Lots of Plain, Old-Fashioned Water
Chances are, your protesting stomach could use something other than alcohol or Jolt Cola, the pride of every early-90s-era gamer. So make sure your glass remains full of water as the evening continues. All that high-sodium food can dehydrate you and cause your holiday bloat to become even worse. And, whenever it’s possible, move from your seat even if only for a minute or two. Thanks to the water, you’ll be making plenty of trips to the restroom.
Even though you should take steps ahead of time to avoid the unpleasant feeling that follows a big meal, it’s not always possible during the holidays. After all, you are meant to enjoy the festivities, food and all, but there’s no reason to suffer for it. So, enjoy that extra cookie, but try to stay off the couch afterward. You can beat that holiday bloat by moving, even if it’s not a marathon.