Benefits of free­dom from al­co­hol

The Irish Times - Tuesday - Health - - Health Fitness -

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.”

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