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How To Bounce Back--Fast--From 4 Bad Health Moves

Downed too many drinks? Had unprotected nooky? Here are the body-saving tips you need ASAP...and later in the day.

You know you shouldn’t have, so we’ll spare you the lecture on how only a bonehead would make these what-were-you-thinking mistakes. Instead, we’ll focus on minimizing the fallout. 


1. You seriously pigged out.

Do this now:

 • Break a sweat. March in place or do any light exercise, so you perspire away excess salt, which is partly responsible for that bloated feeling. And, cardio boosts your metabolism, so you’ll burn more calories.

• Pop an antacid, like Motilium. It’ll treat indigestion or prevent it from happening.

• Drink water to pee out excess salt and get all that food moving through your system.

Do this later:

 • Eat again in about four hours. A small, healthy meal (think a salad with grilled chicken) will prevent you from feeling super hungry later…which would trigger more overeating.

• For the next 24 hours, stick to lean protein plus fruits and veggies to keep things moving and reduce your calorie count. 

• Sip ginger tea to ease your stomach and help digest the last of your gluttonous meal.


2. You had unsafe sex.

Do this now: 

• Make a gyne appointment to be tested within the week for gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis. And, make another appointment for six weeks in the future to be screened for syphilis and HIV, which take longer to show.

Do this later:

• Write a note on your calendar when your next period is due, so you’ll know right away if you miss it—in which case, you should take a pregnancy test, pronto.

• Stock your purse, medicine cabinet, and bedside drawer with condoms, damn it!

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3. You pulled an all-nighter.

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Do this now:

 • Down two cups of coffee. Caffeine will stave off that heavy-lidded feeling through the a.m. More than two cups in a row, however, won’t produce extra effects.

• Grab breakfast. Even if you’ve been munching snacks all night, a carb-protein combo that’s low in fat (such as cereal and skim milk or an egg-white omelet and toast) will help power you up.

Do this later:

 • Have lunch and another coffee. Order something with protein, like sushi, which will keep lethargy at bay. 

• Sneak in a 10-minute nap to re-energize, but keep it to an hour or two. Longer than that may further mess up your sleep sched.

• Getting some light exercise—stretching, walking around the block—can give you a quick boost.


4. You drank too much last night.

Do this now: 

• Sleep in as long as you can. You’ll recover faster if you snooze at least six hours. 

• Drink water. A full glass or two every hour will ease booze’s dehydrating effect—one of the causes of your throbbing skull and nausea.

• Pop two pills of aspirin every four hours to alleviate a headache. But avoid paracetamol, as they react adversely with alcohol.

Do this later:

 • Wear sunglasses. Bright light prolongs head pain, so sporting shades can help cut a headache short. Plus, you’ll need to hide those puffy raccoon eyes.

• Get off the couch. A full-on gym session isn’t necessary, just a brisk walk or 20 minutes with Wii Sports to pump up your metabolism and help your body recover.