FINDING THE BALANCE BETWEEN ACTIVE & SOCIAL
When it comes to my personal fitness goals and living a healthy lifestyle, I like to remind myself to bend but never break. As I’m sure many fellow Canadians can relate, the summer months feel far too short, become filled with social activities (many of which include alcohol), and seem to end way too quickly. Things like post work patio drinks, weekend festivals & brunch, and the classic Trinity Bellwood’s park chills become a Toronto staple for many, and can sometimes feel as more of an obligation due to the small window of opportunity that we do have. Throw in the summer softball or volleyball league, which usually comes with a beer or too, and you’ve got yourself a very social summer calendar.
How do you find the “balance” everyone is endlessly chasing? Is there a way to mix the active with the social and not sacrifice all that you’ve worked so hard for? In my opinion, that answer is an absolute yes.
Here are my 5 tips to living that balanced active-social lifestyle, without sacrificing it all:
1. If you are drinking, make the right alcohol choices:
Believe it or not, there are actually health conscious ways to consume alcohol. Be smart about your drink choices and avoid the rum and cokes or any alcohol mixed with a high sugar content liquid (ie pop). Beer can be a little more tricky as they are wheat based beverages and can add to that carb count quite quickly. For a smooth light tasting beer my personal favourite is Michelob Ultra. With only 90 calories and 2.6g of carbs, it’s the perfect guilt free beer that won’t compromise your active lifestyle.
2. Mix in a water… Or two, or three:
Drinking water while you are consuming alcohol and enjoying that social lifestyle we all love is a MUST. This will not only help you with the next day hangover, but it will increase your chances of not being the blackout persona at the party… Que the barstool sports video submission. But in all seriousness, staying hydrated and pacing yourself through the social hour is just respectful for your body and all that you have worked for in the gym.
3. Timing is everything:
With majority of the social activities happening after work or in the mid-afternoon, it only makes sense to fit your workouts in in the morning to get it out of the way. There is no point in stressing yourself out over fitting in a workout before a social time slot because if push comes to shove, you’ll skip the workout. Plus, this is a much more realistic task now that the sun is up before 9am, unlike those winter months!
Secondly, be sure to send yourself home at a respectable time so you don’t skip your morning routine. If you are truly looking for that balance you will have to be disciplined enough to set your own curfew and get in your 8 hours.
4. Keep your food on point:
Similar to making the right alcohol choices, make the right food choices. If you’re anything like me, your body is used to healthy whole foods. It expects them and appreciates them. Don’t throw away a morning workout with an unhealthy late night meal just because you’ve had a few Michelob’s after your weekly softball game.
5. Hydrate, Detoxify, Hydrate:
Alcohol dehydrates the body and your skin like nothing else. Just as important as it is to mix in a water during alcohol consumption, I’d say it’s even more important to be well hydrated before you drink, and double it up after the night is over. Adding in some fresh squeezed lemon is a great way to help your body get back to that alkaline state as well. I also like to include a facemask or additional skin care routine the morning after to help hydrate my face.
I strongly believe that you should never fully sacrifice your social life for your workouts. In my opinion, if you constantly deprive yourself of social experiences because you’re trying to stick to a certain diet or workout, you should re-evaluate your day to day. The line between respecting your body and living a life that makes you happy doesn’t have to be drawn in the sand. If you can learn to integrate healthy choices into your every day, it won’t feel like an obligation to hit the gym or a sacrifice when social opportunity arises.
With that, I invite each of you to join me in the ultimate active-social experience at the Michelob Ultra Night Run this September in Toronto. Head to https://www.ultranightrun.ca/ to find the six Canadian cities where this run is taking place so you don't miss out. We will be finishing off each run with some post race celebrations for the ultimate live social experience!