Hangover Helper: 10 Ways to Motivate After a Late Night Out

Being the old married woman that I am (re: approaching 27 in a week), it’s not often that I’m out until the wee hours of the evening.

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Worse yet, I can’t handle the antics of a night on the town like I used to; god forbid I drink more than a beer, and I’m sure to feel it in my bloated fingers the following morning. Ick.

This weekend was a lot of fun. In true grandma form, my friend and I traded in our martinis for a mild-mannered night of mussels and ravioli marinara (with plenty of malbec, of course). Instead of heels, we wore sweatpants; rather than a quiet table in the corner, we settled for a cozy spot on the couch.

By the time dinner was over, we conceded and met a few friends at a bar — exactly 1.5 blocks from my apartment, nonetheless. Still, a bottle of wine and a PBR tall boy later, and I could feel it on Saturday morning. Did I really need that extra brew? Those extra frosting-filled snickerdoodles?

What to do?

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Get up! Get out! Run!

Since I discovered running in college, I’ve always turned to this very physical form of fitness to cure that sense of exhaustion and haze that almost inherently accompanies the very idea of drinks with friends. The run itself isn’t necessarily the problem either; at least for me, the hardest part is finding the motivation to get off the couch and out the door.

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For a bit of motivation, look no further than these 10 run-spiring ideas.

10. Drink a glass of ice cold LEMON WATER to hydrate and breathe life back into your body. I usually find that this helps to wake me up and feel refreshed.

9. Turn to SOCIAL MEDIA. I know this sounds kind of weird, but on days when I’m feeling lazy, I often turn to my Twitter feed. I follow a ton (mostly all) of fitness enthusiasts like myself, and reading about everyone else’s morning accomplishments can usually get me moving.

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(Here’s an example of my feed at any given moment.)

8. Give yourself some extra time to FALL BACK ASLEEP. Maybe you need it! Then, when you wake up, try again, this time with more energy.

7. EAT SOMETHING. Just not a massive plate of bacon, eggs and toast, which can make you even sleepier as your body goes to work digesting. Instead, try something small but uplifting, like a bowl of fresh fruit, some cereal or a smoothie. Then, when you’re done with your run, order those eggs and bacon.

6. Stop thinking, and GET DRESSED ALREADY. After a late night, I could sit on the couch in my pajamas for hours. Days even. Jump-start your morning by throwing on the workout gear right away. After all, the worst thing that happens is you laze around in leggings.

5. String together a PLAYLIST that’s appropriate for the circumstance. I like to start with some slower tunes and then ramp it up as the run goes on. After a few miles, I’m usually feeling a lot better and ready to get moving.

4. HYDRATE. This one seems obvious, but if you’ve had a bit more than usual to drink the night before, it’s incredibly important to hydrate. You might not feel it at the moment, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found myself parched or with a slight headache midway through the morning run. Sometimes, it turns into a migraine. To avoid this, drink up, stop at water fountains, and drink up some more right after. You might even consider carrying a water bottle with you.

3. Treat yourself to a freshly made GREEN JUICE. I haven’t always loved green juices, especially those that taste particularly, well, green. But once I learned how to order them, I was hooked. Make sure that there are sweet, spicy flavors mixed in so you’re not only getting a blast of nutrients but also a whole lotta yum. Lately, I’ve been loving the combination of kale, spinach, apples, lemon and ginger. Guy and Gallard makes a mean one for just $5.

2. Pick a pretty DESTINATION. Some mornings, running near the water can feel as refreshing as a glass of H2O. Find a river or a stream, or run to a park with a pond or fountain. Use your surroundings to ground your body and mind.

1. NO EXCUSES. It’s easy to give yourself a get out of run free card when you’re feeling less than 100%. Simply put, don’t. Save your “rest days” for those times your body truly needs a rest, not for mornings when you’re feeling sluggish due to a slice (or three) of late-night pizza. Do it, and I promise — you won’t regret it.

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How do you motivate yourself to get moving after a late night out — with possibly a few too many burgers and brews?

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