What is a hangover?
If you are here, you probably know what a hangover is. You're either in discomfort or plan to be hungover soon. We won't mind if you skip this section :)
For the uninitiated,
A hangover is a group of unpleasant signs and symptoms that can develop after drinking too much alcohol. As if feeling awful weren't bad enough, frequent hangovers are also associated with poor performance and conflict at work (rings a bell?).
The symptoms range from fatigue and weakness to headaches, nausea, vomiting, shakiness and increased heartrates - in short, nothing pleasant happens when you're hungover.
Read our blog on effects of alcohol on fitness and take an informed decision on your alcohol intake.
Should You Exercise To Get Over Hangover?
People who do not exercise frequently would probably tell you, 'No, exercise doesn't help with a hangover.' The truth, however, is something else.. Exercise makes you stronger, less tired and relieves those terrible headaches.
Reason being, working out releases a mixture of neurochemicals and hormones. These include norepinephrine, endorphins, and adrenaline, renowned as the feel-good hormone. These hormones cause a wave of happiness, feeling of rest, and pleasure that may help relieve some hangover symptoms. However, this does not imply that exercise would help your body metabolize the alcohol at a faster pace, because alcohol has already entered the body system by then, and it may now be challenging to get it out quickly.
Medical experts also advise lighter workouts, such as light running, yoga, and walking. A boost of Vitamin D can also aid in reducing the discomfort during hangovers.
Best Exercises To Relieve Hangover Symptoms
If your hangover symptoms are severe, we strongly recommend consulting your physician before trying out anything which might be physically exhausting - including getting up and standing to these exercises.
Cutting to the chase, here are some simple exercises which can help with easing out the signs of a hangover:
Balasana or Child Pose
As the name suggests, balasana or child pose is a simple exercise that includes pressing back on your hands and knees. First, you must ensure that your knees are aligned underneath your hips. Next, press back slowly so your buttocks can rest well over your heels. Also, ensure to keep your head down and relax the head on the ground. At the same time, relax your arms as well.
This exercise assists in increasing blood circulation and also compresses your stomach, although gently. This pose is helpful if you face gas as a hangover symptom. Next, take slow breaths as you press the abdomen with your legs.
Alcohol in large quantities can cause dehydration and constipation. However, this pose can easily stimulate internal organs and help fight against constipation and dehydration.
Savasana or Corpse Posture
This yoga pose includes lying on your back and keeping a block under your head. First, you must close your eyes and turn your head from one side to another. Next, the block under your head gently massages your skull muscles, relieving that headache.
Also, your sub-occipital muscles around your eyes get relaxed with this pose. When you are heavily drunk and are facing a terrible hangover, you want to sleep without any hassle. This yoga pose helps you do precisely this and relax your body muscles.
No, we are not talking about brisk walking but walking for ten minutes at a slow pace. You can take up any kind of light cardio exercise for about ten minutes. Walking assists in improving blood circulation within your body. You can also go walking on a treadmill or jogging lightly. Walking for fresh air can also help ease these hangover signs.
However, ensure you do not dehydrate while walking, as it might increase your hangover symptoms.
Another effective exercise pose that can help with hangovers is standing while widening your feet like your hips. First, keep hands on your waist while folding forward at the hips. Next, lean in the forward direction while your legs and arms dangling in your front.
While you are in the pose, ensure to take deep breaths. Standing in this pose ensures that your mind and body are both relaxed. This pose also assists in regulating the body's blood pressure and easing headaches.
Also, this pose helps to stimulate organs such as kidneys and liver, which helps detoxify, giving an energy boost to the body.
Chakravakasana or Cat-Camel Pose
Chakravakasana (also known as cat-camel or cat-cow pose) is a simple exercise that includes gentle movements along with deep breaths and can help in getting over a hangover. Every breath cycle seems like your body is getting a spinal movement. Also, this pose helps in stretching your back and abdomen muscles.
The pose is useful in activating the body's cardiovascular process. This has a positive effect on the blood vessel and also assists in restoring body functions, reducing tiredness caused due to the hangover.
This pose includes sitting on the ground and bending the right knee inside your chest. Next, put your right foot on the left thigh. Now, twist the knee towards your chest.
Hold the position for a few minutes and then repeat with the other leg. This twisting and turning help to improve one's digestion. This is what is required during hangovers, and the sooner the digestion improves, the sooner your symptoms become better.
Also, the pose helps churn out twins from the body, thereby helping you experience a wave of oxygen.
Hangovers can be traumatic and painful. Though you have enjoyed the evening before, the following day can be pretty brutal. However, exercising can help in relieving the symptoms to some extent. Try out the exercises above and work out your way to a healthy day. Remember to keep you alcohol intake in check.