For many of us, once the calendar flips to November, a slow wave of panic sits in: Where has the year gone? Next, you may start to reflect on how many of those New Year’s health goals you’ve achieved (or not). Most importantly, you’ll wonder how you’re going to stay fit throughout the oncoming holiday party season and still enjoy yourself, with undoubtedly endless bouts of feasting and socialising from Thanksgiving onwards to Chinese New Year.

We won’t lie: It’s going to take some discipline. But with the right mindset, it doesn’t have to be that difficult.

Antonia Da Cruz
Image credit: Annie Yuen

To get some expert advice, we consulted Antonia Da Cruz, general manager of GuavaPass Hong Kong, on how she handles her busy schedule. Recently celebrating the fitness booking app’s third anniversary, she’s an expert at juggling her busy schedule and staying a true fitness fiend, businesswoman and social butterfly all year round. Below, she gives us her top five tips on how to copes with and recover from the most hectic but most wonderful time of the year.

  1. Stay hydrated

“This is a no-brainer and probably the most important, as it applies to both your workouts — especially if you are doing lots of cardio! — as well as social activities. Have a glass of water in between each alcoholic beverage, and plenty before bed to avoid those nasty hangovers. I find coconut water the best for rehydration as it’s rich in electrolytes.”

  1. Eat those greens, have fewer sugary foods

“I personally love having leafy greens as they’re a great source of fibre, good for detoxing, and best of all, you’ll never be in a food coma. I’ll try to pack in more greens during lunch. Many restaurants offer grab-and-go lunch deals, and there are so many new healthy options for lunch around Hong Kong. But with the holiday season approaching, who doesn’t want to indulge in those tasty desserts? I try my best to eat smaller portions of sweets and sugary food — I’ll share them with my friends and family — that way I can satisfy my sweet tooth cravings but don’t end up eating a whole cake by myself!”

Antonia Da Cruz

  1. Get enough sleep

“There’s nothing worse than being run down during the holiday season as the last thing you want to do is get ill — meaning you’ll be stuck at home with plenty of FOMO! It can be tempting to say yes to everything (I am totally guilty of this), but prioritise your sleep and allow your body to recover as much as you can. That way you won’t have to constantly layer on those emergency face masks, as you’ll look and feel great naturally!”

  1. Recovery workout

“After a big night, I love a good hot yoga session (or some variation of detox yoga) to sweat out those toxins. I usually go to Flex Studio or Amico Studio for this. Although I would be wary of dangerously dehydrating yourself so maybe opt for a ‘warm’ class rather than something too intensive. I would also avoid doing inversions of any sort unless you want to see the contents of last night’s dinner!”

Antonia Da Cruz

  1. Keep active

“I like to squeeze a workout in the morning before work or during lunch time, but if you feel you don’t have enough time in the day, try and opt for shorter full body workout like HIIT classes for maximum impact. There are some great 45-minute classes at HIT45 and Pherform, and even shorter 30-minute classes at Coastal Fitness and Ozone Fitness. I usually do these workouts at the beginning of the week and then taper off on intensity as the weekend approaches, as then I don’t feel as guilty when I have my cheat days, because I know I’ve put the work in.”

Evelyn Lok
Associate Editor
When not trying out the latest beauty and wellness trends, Evelyn is likely enjoying a perfectly balanced negroni or exploring some of Hong Kong's best new places to eat and drink. At Lifestyle Asia she covers everything from the biggest events in town to interviews with Hong Kong specialists, with topics spanning art, food and drink, health, tech, and travel.