Alcohol Awareness Week is an annual event, which is organised by the charity Alcohol Concern and this year takes place between the 11th and 15th of November 2021. Their aim is to raise awareness of alcohol abuse, and with the festive season right around the corner, and alcohol sales seeing a dramatic incline during the pandemic, this message may just be more imperative than ever. Now, with that said, let’s jump right into the reason you’re here...
Alcohol and Fitness
In case you didn’t know, there is a strong, somewhat opposing, relationship between our beloved alcohol and fitness. In short, alcohol decreases your physical fitness levels and hampers your ability to reach your fitness goals. In excess, alcohol can cause a multitude of health problems from high blood pressure and heart disease to stroke, cancer and you guessed it - even death. If moderation is your goal, then luckily for you, we have a bunch of highly qualified Personal Trainers that will be happy to discuss this further with you with absolutely no judgement, of course.
They will ensure that you are keeping your alcohol consumption in order (especially over the Christmas period) so that your hard work in the gym doesn’t go to waste! If you are considering cutting back on all things ethanol-soaked, then the winter months are the perfect time to do just that. The New Year is a great place to start if you are sober-curious, when it’s chilly out and the festivities are over there is a lot less pressure to drink due to the lack of events taking place. In all honesty, everyone is skint and dealing with a month-long hangover in January, so why not take that time to make some healthier choices? It will make a huge difference to the way you think, feel and look.
The Alcohol Effect
Now, it’s important that you know we’re not here to tell you to go teetotal or completely abstain from alcohol, we’re simply here to let you know the effect that it can have on your physical and mental health, along with the effect it has on your fitness levels. However, if, after reading this, you decide you want to know more on how to create a better relationship with alcohol - then that’s great!
If you do, then you won’t be alone. A revolution is happening and the numbers seem to suggest that drinking habits are changing. In fact, the most recent numbers show that nearly a third of 16-24 year olds don’t drink at all! If that doesn’t sound like a bit of you, then that’s fine. Rather than declaring yourself a non-drinker, you may consider yourself to be sober-curious. In short, this term simply means that you want to become more aware of the motivations behind the reason you consume alcohol.
The Benefits of Cutting Back
The benefits of cutting back reach far beyond the way you look, but also the way that you think and the way you feel. You will notice that you have more energy and feel less tired during the day; which is great when you’re taking part in a fitness regime. You will also see a huge shift in your ability to concentrate and make decisions. On top of all of that, alcohol is dehydrating (ever woken up after a night out gasping for a glass of water?), so not only will your skin feel more hydrated, but you’re less prone to fine lines and premature ageing. In terms of weight, drinking too much could have been the main reason behind why you weren’t hitting your fitness goals as quickly as you would have liked. Drinking in excess means that you’re consuming too many calories, which causes you to pile on the pounds. When you cut down, alongside a better diet and a fitness regime, you can lose weight and feel fitter.
To conclude, drinking alcohol can affect everything from your mental health to your risk of developing cancer. Basically, it isn’t kale.
Joking aside, the type of alcohol that we drink is ethanol, and it’s worth noting that it’s used in some hairsprays, paints, varnishes and hand sanitizers as well. It was also used as fuel when rockets were first developed. Alcohol is a toxic and extremely addictive substance and absolutely no one should feel any kind of guilt for not being able to ‘just have one drink.’ If you do feel you might need some extra help with your drinking, then please be sure to speak to your Dr or check out the resources below - the greatest investment you will ever make is your health.
ADFAM - These lovely guys help the families of drug and alcohol users (adfam.org.uk)
Change Grow Live - Specialising in substance misuse and criminal justice intervention projects in England and Wales (changegrowlive.org)
NACOA - National Association for Children of Alcoholics (nacoa.org.uk)
Alcohol Change UK - Alcohol Change UK works towards helping you address the motivations behind your drinking so that you can receive the best support and treatment needed. (alcoholchange.org.uk)