Benefits of freedom from alcohol
Robert Gallagher (40), from Sutton, Dublin, gave up alcohol completely six months ago.
The father-of-two, who is a personal trainer and Pilates instructor at Movement 101 in Swords, Dublin, has experienced a dramatic improvement in his general wellbeing, as well as his athletic ability, since then.
“Over the last six months it’s just really helped me with recovery time, more energy, sleeping better, more alert. My skin improved. It’s weird,” he explains.
“I was doing normal weights but the last while I’ve been doing gymnastic rings, callisthenic stuff. I’m 40 so I’m no spring chicken so in terms of joints, tendons, ligaments and improving flexibility, if you’re getting drunk once a week it’s hard to make those little gains.
“Being hungover, you’re more lethargic. You’re not going to train as hard. If you’re getting drunk on Saturday night, say, Monday you’re still really trying to hydrate yourself. I’ve been training for the human flag and I can’t believe I’m doing that now. It’s a bit like being a kid again.”
Robert says the freedom from alcohol is an added benefit of breaking the habit, even though he had already cut down on his intake.
“Even from a year ago, I was dropping body fat so I was down to a half bottle of wine as my treat on a Friday night with some dark chocolate.
“Going completely free of it is liberating almost. I used to look forward to the half bottle of wine. I was dying to get to Friday night,” he recalls.
“It was a 14.5 per cent bottle. I’d have one glass then usually it was time to bathe one of the kids then come back and drink the second glass. You’d be drunk on it because you’re having so little. But being free from even longing for that is odd, it’s cool.”