Fitness Alternative: Boozercise

Swimsuit season is upon us. If your body is beach ready, congratulations. You can proudly wear a bikini and relax by the pool without worrying about everyone judging your flabby underarms or cellulite-ridden thighs.

If you are like me and have never met a basket of French fries you did not like, join me for a drink. I know it sounds crazy, but exercise and alcohol are a great mix. After a night at the bar, I discovered boozercise, and I want to share the benefits with you.

Quick disclaimer: I am not a licensed or unlicensed health or fitness professional. What I am is a twenty-something looking to shed a few pounds while remaining a regular at my favorite bar. I do not condone having more than one or two drinks before or during your workout. I also suggest avoiding heavy machinery, including cars, during and after boozercise.

Now on to the work-out.

Exercise 1: Beerlates (Beer plus Pilates)

A great introduction into the boozercise world, Beerlates is both relaxing and invigorating while working your core. Follow a standard Pilates routine, which you can find for free on Hulu or at a local library. Begin with arm exercises, and hold a closed bottle of ice cold beer in each of your hands. This adds a little bit of weight giving you a great workout. After completing these routines, open one of the bottles and sip in between sets. For a 30-minute workout, drink one beer. Allow yourself up to two during a 60-minute routine.  The number of calories you burn off will vary depending on your choice of beer and the intensity of your workout.

Calories burned an hour:Between 270 for beginner and 500 for advanced workouts.
Calories ingested with two 12-ounce drinks: Between 200 calories for a light beer and 500 for a dark beer (go light).
Exercise 2: Vodba (Vodka plus Zumba)

This one is super easy, and the rewards definitely outweigh any cons. Take two shots of vodka before beginning your Zumba routine. This will loosen you up and give you the confidence to shake your booty. Perhaps my favorite of the boozercises, you will burn a lot more calories than you ingest. You can do this easily at home with a dance DVD.

Calories burned an hour: 500 to 800
Calories ingested with two shots:About 110 calories

Exercise 3: Jogtails (Cocktails plus jogging)

This will sound crazy, but I never feel more motivated to go for a jog than after a couple of happy hour drinks after work. Load up your favorite bar tunes on an MP3 player and hit the trails. Feel free to sing along. Just ignore the stares from your fellow runners.

Calories burned an hour: 350-plus, depending on your pace.
Calories ingested with two drinks: This depends on what you drink. Stick to vodka sodas and you will log about 150 calories total.

Exercise 4: Walkabout-and-over (A hangover plus walking and lots of water)

This one might be the most painful, but it is ultimately the most beneficial. After a night of drinking, grab a couple of bottles of water and go for a walk. Go ahead and play some music, but select soft tunes. Sunglasses are also a must. You will feel much better after sweating out the booze from the night before.

Calories burned an hour: At a pace of 3 miles per hour, expect to burn between 250 to 500 calories. If you are faster, you will burn more.
Calories ingested with two drinks:Zero. Water is a zero-calorie miracle.

See, it all comes down to science. By burning more calories than you ingest, you are certainly no worse off. You can get a nice workout and a buzz. Now remember, drink responsibly. Two drinks in one hour is plenty.

Feel free to experiment and find your own favorite combinations for exercise and alcohol. If you find one you like, please share.

Good luck!

Laura Chapman is a journalist, blogger, book reviewer and yet-to-be published novelist. In 2010, she founded Change the Word, a blog that follows her writing career and offers book reviews, author promotions and writing tips. Based in Lincoln, Nebraska, she has two completed novels in editing and is hard at work on her third, which she is adapting for a web series. A regular contributor at Good Humor Girl, you can read all Laura's articles and find out more about Laura.