Running on a Hangover- Kill or Cure?

hangover3So I woke up yesterday, a touch worse for wear, perhaps around ten a.m. Rather bemused at the headache and nausea I was facing as the last coherent memory I have is telling everyone I was having a ‘quiet one’. (For the record, those words are cursed.) However, as a student, hangovers are not uncommon to me and they are the price we pay for having a few hours off. After some Orange Juice and a Netflix marathon, I felt no better so I (very reluctantly) put on some running shoes and a pair of shorts.

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I always run on a hangover, if I can and I find it helps. No, I am being honest, I promise. I find it helps for a few hours, anyway, usually by around five my blood sugar is dropping again and all I want to do is sit in the dark with the saltiest popcorn the world has ever seen. Running hungover is like climbing a mountain; the first 10-15 minutes out to the top is horrendously awful, lack of air, dizziness and sickness but the 10-15 minutes back (or down the mountain) is a miracle. I find my sickness is gone and I even feel a little hungry. The most likely reason it helps is that it causes an endorphin release and (I find) eases my guilty conscience about my calorie consumption after a heavy night.

However, exercising when your body is not in good condition is more dangerous, whether it was self induced or not; you could end up doing yourself more damage in the long run. Only go if you are well hydrated and have no unexplained injuries.

Three Important Health Warnings for Running on Hangovers:

plastic-bottled-water1) Drink plenty of water. I know it’s obvious but particularly on a hangover when your body’s temperature control is still suffering and you have been out dancing all night.

2) Go easy. You are still delicate and not in good health for a 5/6MI route. Keep the pace to a jog and, I recommend, no more than 20-30 minutes of light exercise.

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3) Do not take painkillers before exercising! This is very important, if you have had any painkillers on the day of the workout, you should not exercise. This will mask warning pains and you may overdo it.

^^ I have in fact done this before when I was on strong pain medication for a cracked rib, I went to the gym and subsequently made the injury worse. I then couldn’t exercise for an extra fortnight longer than expected.

Good luck with it! Try not to feel too bad if you wake up with a hangover, we all need to cut loose a bit sometime, just be sure to take good care of yourself afterwards. In the mean time, if you are reading after a heavy night and not quite ready to take the plunge that is facing exercise or just other people, here are some amusing hangover memes with cute animals that know how you feel:

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