Should I Exercise with a Hangover?
Physiology aside, on a personal note, I can tell you in my post-college and grad school life, I’ve probably tried to workout the day after not following my own “smart” happy-hour plan about a half-dozen times…and it never worked out well. I ended up feeling winded and/or dizzy after only 10 minutes on the elliptical, and strength training wasn’t even an option. Having a headache also made listening to my normally enjoyable tunes painful to my ears. These less-than-optimal workouts did nothing but make me feel weak and want to rush home, lie down and not move again for awhile. The most energy I could ever muster with a “light” hangover involved a walk around the neighborhood.
Think about it, if you’re dealing with a hangover, you’re most likely dehydrated, tired and a bit off-balance. None of these post-party effects mix well with a workout. It’s important to remember most exercise requires a decent amount of coordination to be performed effectively and above all, safely. I can’t even imagine trying to take a step aerobics class with an out-of-whack equilibrium. Cardio aside, there are a whole range of exercises from ball squats with a curl to press to crunches on a stability ball that could make you queasy just thinking about if you’re balance isn’t up to par. Also, your reaction time may be slower than usual, so if you plan to spar with a friend or even play a game of catch, you may end up with a boxing glove to the chin or a hard baseball to the face.
The bottom line is there’s nothing about working out that will make you get over a hangover any faster. What will help: getting some rest, drinking plenty of water and eating some nutritious food when your stomach allows. So if tonight’s your night to blow off some steam and get a little crazy, don’t beat yourself up tomorrow if you can’t jump out of bed and hit the gym or load the DVD player with your favorite Zumba workout. Rest up and know with a little time and a lot of fluids, your equilibrium will eventually steady itself so you can have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!