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The Fitness Trail: The libation and workout dilemma (column)

Enjoying a glass of wine or cocktail is fine for most folks within moderation. However, if your intention is to consistently exercise, you may be sabotaging your fitness outcomes with frequent consumption.

Consider the following statistics:

One five ounce glass of wine equals approximately 120 calories. That does not seem like a lot of calories in isolation; however, if you are consuming a glass per night, that is one pound of fat per month and approximately 11.5 pounds a year, in wine. Wine, which may possess minimal medicinal benefits, has little or no nutrient value, so you are consuming 11.5 pounds a year of empty calories. If you consume three, five-ounce glasses per night, this jumps to 35 pounds a year!

Contemplate other factors such as a failure to make it to your workout the next day because the wine initially helped you fall asleep, but caused you to become restless and not sleep well. Then, when you wake up and feel exhausted, you may rationalize that you will just miss today's workout.

However, the problem with that philosophy is that if you are having a glass of wine each night, then you may begin to experience that same lack of motivation on a regular basis. Not to mention that alcohol lowers inhibition, so this may create challenges with making wise food choices and lead to further over consumption! A bit of a vicious cycle.

Additionally, if you do make it to your workout, how effective will you be if you are sleep deprived, perhaps feeling the effects of the vino from the previous night and just not 100 percent in the game that day?

The purpose of this discussion is not to boycott libation, but to determine a method of enjoying libation, if you choose to, at a time and in a quantity that will negatively impact your exercise program and overall health the least. Consider the following suggestions for consumption and enjoy dropping a few pounds, feeling energized in the mornings and consistently performing your exercise program experiencing all that a healthy and fit body offers. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.

Suggestion 1: Rather than consuming daily, consider choosing a night or two when you may enjoy a bit of libation and then be satisfied with one serving. This may decrease your caloric input from libation, all other things being equal, by 50-75 percent (i.e. from 11.5 pounds/year to 3.3 pounds/year with one serving).

Suggestion 2: Only consume your libation with dinner. Avoid beginning consumption as you prepare your food as you are more likely to consume more libation and more food.

Suggestion 3: It is challenging to integrate and maintain a consistent exercise program for many clients. If you make it in for your workout feeling lethargic, bloated and sleep deprived, you are less likely to continue with your exercise program long term due to lack of productive results. Therefore, determine what the true priority is in your life. If it is as Ralph Waldo Emerson stated, "the first wealth is health," then consume libation less frequently and exercise more frequently allowing your body and mind to experiencing a natural high!

Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Mountain Life Fitness, LLC located in Granby, Colorado. She may be reached at her website at http://www.mtnlifefitness.com, her email at jackie@mtnlifefitness.com and her Facebook page at Mountain Life Fitness.