Pushing Through the Pain: How to Exercise with a Hangover

Pushing Through the Pain: How to Exercise with a Hangover

Unless you're one of the few people who can drink quite a bit without experiencing a significant hangover, chances are that you'll encounter those days when you're supposed to hit the gym with a prior night of drinking hanging around your neck. The symptoms of a hangover, which include:


  •    Headaches
  •    Nausea
  •    Sweating
  •    Lack of appetite
  •    Vomiting
  •     Irritability
  •    Loss of balance
--  are in no way conducive to getting you into the gym, or even out of bed. It can be difficult to balance an active lifestyle with alcohol, even for those of us that know the importance of moderation. All it takes is one overly enthusiastic night out to completely torpedo your regimen and put you on a path of all of the pain without any of the gain.


For those who aren't impervious to hangovers, however, there are some ways to get your exercising in without necessarily making your hangover any worse.

Don't Overdo It


One of the mistakes that exercisers make in relation to a hangover is to go far too hard at their routines; some people seem to think that they can pay off a form of karmic debt if they make themselves suffer in the gym by doing just as much, or more, exertion in their routines as they would do without the hangover. This can be a mistake for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the body's dehydrated state.


Dehydration is what can lead to a hangover in the first place. Even if you did consume enough water, you may be losing it quickly without the exercise through excessive urination and loose bowel movements. Add in heavy sweating and respiration, and you'll be essentially wringing your body like a sponge. It's a quick way to make yourself feel even worse, or even put yourself in real medical danger. Although sweating does help you to shed those toxins more quickly, you should be drinking plenty of water throughout your routine to avoid further issues.


What to Do:


  • Treadmills. If you can't walk, you should go to a hospital. If you can walk, even if only at a brisk pace, you'll feel better for getting a bit of it in. A walk outside is also nice, of course, but dealing with loud traffic sounds, dogs barking, and people in general may not mix well with the hangover. A slow walk on a treadmill with some relaxing music in your headphones might prove to be a more soothing remedy.
  •  Weights. Reduce the amount of reps that you do, but lifting should be perfectly fine. If you find that you're woozy or not as well balanced as you could be, you will want to avoid this one. This isn't the time to reach or go past your max, either; take it easy, but get your work in where you can. If you feel tired or nauseous, take a break.


Generally speaking, avoid high cardio activities as well, as you could easily strain yourself and cause an unfortunate episode in your local gym.


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