Giving up alcohol for a month can reveal an awful lot about the effect booze has on your life. From getting a better night’s sleep to finding extra motivation during the day, cutting out alcohol brings with it a raft of benefits – and if you are currently in the middle of a teetotal month as part of Macmillan Cancer Support’s Go Sober For October campaign, you might be losing weight too.
That’s because alcohol contains calories – a whole load of them. According to the Drinkaware units and calorie calculator, one pint of 4% beer contains 182 calories, and a 175ml glass of wine has 159. Fans of spirits don’t get off lightly either – one 25ml shot of a 40% spirit contains 61 calories and that’s before you count the mixer.
It can be easy to ignore numbers on a webpage, however, so Macmillan Cancer Support enlisted personal trainer Georgie Okell to create a workout that would burn the calories contained in a single pint of lager (the amount of calories you burn may vary, obviously).
You might think one pint’s worth of calories can’t be that hard to shift. You’d be wrong. This workout might only last ten minutes, but it’s hard as heck. Do it once, then carry that memory with you to the pub. The next time you’re weighing up whether to have one more for the road or not – it might help you decide.
One Pint Workout
The workout involves a circuit of six different exercises. Do each move for 30sec, then move straight on to the next one. Once you’ve done all six, take a 30sec break, then do the circuit again. Do three rounds in total, which will take ten minutes.
1 High knees
Throw your hands in the air and run on the spot, lifting your knees up towards your chest as high as you can.
Drop down into a squat, with your thighs parallel to the ground, then explode up into the air and raise your hands above your head. Land softly and repeat.
Get into a press-up position. Drive one knee up towards your chest then, as you return it to the starting position, bring the other knee up. Keep the pace high as you alternate legs for 30sec.
Lie on the ground with your legs raised slightly off the ground and your hands placed lightly on the side off your head. Raise one knee towards your chest, twisting your torso as you do so the opposite elbow moves towards the knee. Then repeat the movement with the opposite limbs. Keep alternating sides for 30sec.
Get into a plank position then jump your feet out to either side in the manner of a jumping jack. Jump them back to the centre and repeat.
The big finish. From a standing start, drop down and kick your legs out behind you into a press-up position. Do a press-up, then jump your feet back up towards your chest, stand up, and jump off the ground. Repeat.
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Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.