Regularly working out at the gym or getting in your daily yoga keeps you healthy, fit and active. Exercise is of those good intentions that can quickly backfire, especially if you reward yourself with a post-workout cool-down with your happy hour friends. Research shows that when people are dedicated to keeping fit, they also may drink more alcohol than those who live a moderately active or sedentary lifestyle.
Healthy living comes with plenty of unhealthy temptations, and it seems alcohol is high on that list. Some speculate that people who work out and drink likely fall into the following categories:
- Alcohol is a reward for the “good behavior” of exercise.
- Active people find themselves in more social situations where alcohol is present.
- Additional caloric needs can mean a hungry gym rat turns to alcohol.
- Keeping the feeling of a good workout is easy when you replace endorphins with alcohol.
Obviously, drinking too much alcohol is unhealthy for anyone. When you’re dedicated to keeping yourself active and exercise regularly, you may even be questioning your own drinking habits. Plus, alcohol can have some benefits for your body, even when you are at the gym several times each week. Alcohol isn’t the villain in your workout plans, but the type and/or number of drinks you consume could be causing you to work harder and longer for your desired physical and mental results.
When you are committed to healthy living, including regular exercise and eating well, all alcohol is not lost. You can still enjoy your happy hour with friends and your healthy lifestyle can continue. Just like planning to avoid a drunk driving incident, ignition interlock requirement and those legal issues, you can plan to keep the bad effects of alcohol at bay when you’re exercising. Take a look at your own reasons for drinking and when you may go over the line and put yourself and your exercise habits first.