It’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s also the most stressful time of the year. It’s especially true in the Metro when even Santa can’t avoid the horrendous traffic, not even with Rudolf’s skillful maneuvering. Then there’s the last minute shopping with the midnight madness crowd to contend with. You’re also a party animal, so you will more than likely be out every night till the wee hours. With so much going on, you end up feeling exhausted, bloated, and just ho, ho, hum during the holidays. But you can already smell the bibingka and the Christmas bonus, reminding you that it’s time to get your body ready for the season. Here’s how:

Cleanse the colon

Cleanse your bowels before the season of feasting and boozing by loading up on fiber. More than just starting with a clean slate you want to cleanse your colon to help your body digest the binging that the holidays bring. Make like a rabbit and nibble on leafy greens like kale and spinach so you can later devour the lechon like a pig with little guilt. Grains like beans and oatmeal, and vegetables like peas and artichokes aid in eliminating toxins, too. Apples and lemons also aid in good digestion.

Got a minute?

Once a week to the gym to take selfies just won’t do it anymore. Exercise every day for a minute. Sixty seconds of intense exercise is equivalent to a 45-minute easy workout. You can no longer use the excuse that you don’t have the time. Don’t forget to stretch before and after to warm up and cool down.

Target toning

If you got more than a minute, you may want to target some key areas of your body to help you survive the holiday grind. For one, you’ll need strong arms to carry those heavy shopping bags and elbow your way through the throng of frenzied last-minute shoppers. Start doing some heavy lifting. This may be the best time to stock up on bottles of Johnnie Walker to sub as your dumbbells. Each 750ml bottle is equivalent to about 1.6 pounds of weight. As you get more comfortable, you can move up to 1.5 liters of Absolut Vodka. Don’t just stop there; increase your pounds to a case of beer. Sixty to 100 reps, five to seven days a week, should give you killer biceps by the time you’re ready to open your bar on Christmas Eve.

Cankles are not cute. You want strong defined legs to show off with your red hot dress for the New Year’s Eve party. Time to get moving. Walking 30 minutes a day can help build leg muscles. As an added bonus, hoofing it can tone your midsection. But wait; it doesn’t end there. Walking improves your mood, relieves stress, lowers your blood sugar levels and high blood pressure, increases energy levels, improves digestion, strengthens bones and joints, and relieves back pain.

Let it glow

Do you know what’s even better than photo filters? Renewing your skin to its natural glow. If you exfoliate regularly you may actually start looking more like your heavily filtered selfies. The most expensive moisturizer won’t do the trick if it can’t seep deep into your skin. Exfoliating peels of dead skin cells which allows beauty products to penetrate effectively into your face. If you’ve never exfoliated before, start with a professional treatment. Get an exfoliating facial or a chemical peel or microdermabrasion. Peels and dermabrasion support the thickening of collagen, making your skin suppler while blurring wrinkles, age spots, and scars. After a few treatments, you can exfoliate regularly at home two or three times a week or once a week if you your skin is sensitive.

Get your drink on

Don’t get too excited. It’s not quite time to open Johnnie Walker just yet. By drink we mean water—lots of it. Drinking at least eight glasses of water a day has immense benefits. And water will be your best buddy all throughout your Christmas regimen. Detoxify with water to flush out toxins and prevent constipation. Water also makes you feel full, so you eat less, plus it increases your metabolism. For your glow regimen, take the best and cheapest moisturizer—water. Experts say it gives skin a radiant blush.

Keep in mind that your priority should be your health. When you’re feeling good inside, you’ll be looking good outside. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t get the perfect body you had planned for Christmas. If Santa rocked the rotund belly in a red suit, so can you.

About The Author

Candy Lykes
freelance writer/editor/photographer

Candy Villanueva-Lykes is a widely published writer and photographer here and abroad. Candy Villanueva-Lykes is a planet surfer, word weaver, pixel stitcher, light chaser, sun worshipper, and forever shaking off the sand between her toes.