Christmas Day’s big meal comes with all the trimmings: turkey, lamb, chicken, gammon, roast potatoes, mince pies, Christmas pudding, in-laws, booze, and an overstuffed chair calling your name. You could either bloat yourself, then escape Aunt Dot by slipping into a coma, or you could earn an extra helping of pudding –and a huge sigh of relief–by escaping for a ride.
1. You’ll show up for dinner smiling
Your stress level is through the roof just thinking about what criticisms are going to jump out of your relatives’ traps the moment you arrive. First thing Christmas morning, go for a ride. The repetitive motion of pedaling helps us forget stressful scenarios and leads to relaxation. Not only will you roll into dinner wearing a grin, you’ll also be able to let all nit-picking roll off your back.
2. The couch will not get the best of you
Stuff your face with turkey, potatoes and pudding, and the rest of your day is doomed–unless you keep moving. The tryptophan in turkey is an amino acid that helps the body create serotonin, a chemical that makes you sleepy. Combine this with hard-to-digest starchy foods, and you have a recipe for lethargy. Instead of shifting gears on the La-Z-Boy, hop onto your bike for an after-dinner spin. The light exercise will help with digestion.