You might not always consider New Year's Eve to be the most fit day of the year, what with all the champagne and hors d'oeuvres, but who's to say you can't get a jump on your resolutions well before the clock hits midnight?
"Most of us are coming off from holiday indulgences that leave us discouraged and, oftentimes, feeling sluggish and unmotivated to get back into shape," says Cooper Chou, group fitness instructor at New York Health & Racquet Club. "Traveling for the holidays also challenges our ability to have a consistent fitness routine because it not only depletes us energetically, but it's also hard to find healthy food options on the road. The beginning of a new year gives all of us the opportunity to 'reboot' and start to build or rebuild healthy habits since our work and home routines after the holidays start to normalize."
And that "reboot" can, in fact, start on December 31st. Here are 6 ways to get healthy while ringing in the new year.
Groups like New York Road Runners (NYRR) offer a New Year's Eve Midnight Run. NYRR's includes a quick four-mile run that ends in a fireworks celebration and evens gives you a credit for the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon. How's that for healthy and productive?
Don't just go for the treadmill, either. New York Health and Racquet Club, for one, is hosting a special NYE celebration with after-hours yoga, cycling, and meditation classes, as well as a DJ, who will be spinning live, and a midnight champagne toast that'll help ring in 2016 with a bang.
"The intention of yoga is to build body awareness and appreciation for breathing and breathing well. The more aware we are of our bodies, the more likely we would want to keep it healthy." says Chou, who will be leading the club's New Year's Eve yoga and meditation classes. "With our abilities to be more aware through a yoga practice, the mind would then be calm and ready to sit and meditate. Living in NYC means there will always be a distraction that may prevent us from 'action setting' and staying focused. Meditating gives us the tools to approach those distractions with grace and ease."
What's New Year's Eve without a little bubbly cocktail? Skip the traditional champagne, and add a little (low-calorie) flavor to a spritzer by infusing it with healthy fruit and citrus, as in this Ooh-La-La Love Punch. For more ideas, check out these 20 festive cocktails that'll keep you going long after the ball drops.
Apart from being good for your bone and heart health, dancing can help you shed major calories. An hour of fast dancing can burn upwards of 450 calories, according to the Harvard Medical School—so don't be shy about busting a move while waiting for the countdown.
Comedy clubs, from the Comedy Cellar in New York City to Second City in Chicago and the Hollywood Improv in Los Angeles, are hosting New Year's Eve celebrations that will have you laughing out loud as 2015 draws to a close.
The best part: Laughing not only strengthens your abs and increase your lung capacity, but studies show that just 15 minutes of giggling can help you burn an additional 40 calories.
Yoga studios throughout the country are staying open long past closing on New Year's Eve. Kundalini Yoga in Boston, Jivamukti Yoga in New York City, Wanderlust Yoga in Austin, and many, many others will be featuring yoga parties to help get you in the right mind-set for a brand-new start to the brand-new year.