By Karen Kwan
Whether you’ve been busy here in Toronto at TIFF – or simply partying and living it up wherever you are – there’s only so much your body can take. Consider your past week: you probably watched one screening to another (i.e. you were sitting on your derriere for hours), the most exercise you did was dashing to and from one of the many film fest parties, and you probably drank way too many cocktails. Here are a few simple ways to get back on track.
Exercise. Here’s the good news: “You don’t lose any muscle or performance ability if you take just one week off training and you have maintained good eating habits,” says Gidon Gabbay of G Force Home Training. “In fact, your body may even appreciate the break if you’ve been training hard and consistently. A week off is good for complete recovery and may actually improve performance upon your return to the gym,” he says. Now that the film fest is winding down, though, it’s time to hit the gym again. Gabbay stresses that it’s important not to let one week turn into two weeks or more. And to help you get back into it with ease, he suggests putting extra emphasis on strength training to spike the metabolism again.
Hydrate. All of the wine and cocktails you’ve consumed have left your body dehydrated. In fact, you may have noticed some new fine lines and wrinkles – thank your booze-y diet for them, too. Alcohol is a diuretic. What this means is that it causes your body to pass more fluid than it normally would. Give your body the fluids it’s lacking by drinking plenty of water.
Sleep. If you normally get a good night’s rest, the lack of zzz’s during the fest should not have done too much damage—just try to get back to hitting the sack at a healthy hour. If, however, you sleep six hours or less and then pulled an all-nighter, you should be more concerned as your sleep debt will be hard to recoup. A study published last year in Science Transitional Medicine showed that sleeping six hours or less for two to three weeks, followed by staying awake for 24 hours resulted in reaction times and abilities 10 times worse than if you’d simply pulled the all-nighter.