One of my clients said to me “I don’t drink alcohol, is it okay if I start drinking red wine because I read its ‘proven’ to have health benefits”. I pointed out to her that, “Acting on small bits of information is not the wisest approach. With a more in depth investigation into the research you will find it is generally accepted that the research shows those marginal benefits aren’t generally done on a UK population, more a Mediterranean population”. You should take everything you read with inquisitive dubiousness. Read around the subject then try to put what you have read into context and see if it relates to you. It could be argued that there are various other factors that may influence the findings such as the Mediterranean diet, the better weather which encourages more days annually for participating in outdoor physical activity etc. If you are well below the alcohol consumption of the ‘average’ British male or female, then pat yourself on back and continue to demonstrate in your weekly routine the factors that encourage good health and wellbeing (eating your 5-a-day, 5 x 30 minutes of moderate physical activity etc.)
Another client said, “I’ve been drinking more than this new recommended amount my whole adult life but I’ve also been active in sports all my life so I don’t have to worry, I’m a big rugby guy, my body copes with it fine”. I commented to him that, “Although he is stocky guy of which a lot is muscle (from the weights training I have prescribed for him), a lifetime of exposing your kidneys to alcohol ‘could’ lead to renal problems later in life”. The body is in a constant state of equilibrium, when you feed too much alcohol into the system the renal system and particularly the kidneys work overly hard to process the alcohol and re-establish equilibrium. Forcing the body to do this throughout your lifetime (especially what was the case with this individual, weekend binge drinking with his friends in town after the match) ‘could’ cause internal problems that may not be readily visible. If you already consume alcohol, but are currently taking more than the new recommended allowance, there is no harm in reducing your intake as it can only help you.
In summation my advice is that you should live an ‘everything in moderation’ lifestyle. This for me would relate to many things we do in life. I eat a varied diet weekly of red meat, white meat and fish high in essential fatty acids, I balance my diet with fruits and veg for the mineral and vitamin content so my physiology functions well. I drink socially and in moderation (which happens to fall within these new recommended amounts). I exercise during the week but make sure I give me body enough time to recover and the exercise I do is physical activity I ENJOY doing with friends (salsa dancing, cycling along the beach and mountains, playing recreational basketball). I like to think I benefit mentally and physically from my ‘everything in moderation’ lifestyle and would recommend all my clients to do the same.
Please do get in touch if you would like to book one of my one-to-one ‘HEALTH SCREENING’ appointments and we can design an exercise and healthy living programme specifically suited to you for 2016.