Exercise May Cancel Out Some of the Negative Health Effects of Drinking

When it comes to drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, the potential health effects definitely aren’t pretty. According to WebMD, drinking excessivelycan contribute to high blood pressure, heart problems, stomach ulcers,liver disease and some forms of cancer.

Health professionals and enthusiasts will often recommend limiting or avoiding alcohol altogether, but new research seems to suggest that this may not benecessary.A study just published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine suggests thatas long as you exercise enough, youmay be off the hook. It turns out that exercisemayactually counteract the negative effects of alcohol.

The researchers examined 10 years worth of data from 36,370English and Scottish adults who were over 40-years-old, all of which possessedvarying habits for physical activity and alcohol consumption. Based on the recommended 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week, the subjects were classified as not active, moderately active or very active.They were also classified as never drinkers, ex-drinkers, moderate drinkers, hazardous drinkers or harmful drinkers.

Over the 10-year period, 5,735 of the subjects had died. The researchers discovered that hazardous drinkers (women who drank 8 to 20 US standard drinks per week or men who drank 21 to 49 US standard drinks per week) showed the greatest association with an increased risk of death from all causes. When exercise was taken into account, however, their findings changed.

Those who were classified as at least moderately active, meaning they reached the recommended 150 minutes (or more) of aerobic activity per week, seemed to haveoffset some of the negative effects of drinking. For hazardous drinkers who met the 150-minute minimum of weekly exercise, their risk of death was cut down by more than half.

Despite these surprising findings, the researchers note that this doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t assume that they can completely undo the damage of heavy drinking with more exercise. They also recommend thatwomen should limit their drinking to 8 drinks a week while men should limit theirs to 12 drinks a week.

This study showed that exercise and a decreased risk of death among drinkers are merely linked, and it’s very possibly that other variables may point to these findings. For example, those who exercise may have better diets, and those who aren’t active at all may be limitedby a different health condition.

Even though thereare still a lot of questions left unanswered in this study, it’s at least another big win for exercise. Whether you drink like a fish or never had a drinkin your life, this research shows that exercise is healthy for everyone.

According to the CDC’s150-minute aerobic activity recommendation, you can break down your exercise in the following ways to get the most benefitout of it:

  • 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity activity + full-body strength building activities on 2 or more days everyweek.
  • 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) a week of high-intensity activity+ full-body strength building activities on 2 or more dayseveryweek.
  • An equal combination of moderate- and high-intensity activity +full-body strength building activities on 2 or more dayseveryweek.

Moderate-intensity activity is anything that gets your heart rate up a little and maybe even causes you to break a sweat. Brisk walking, yard work and cycling are some good examples. High-intensity activity raises your heart rate even further and gets you breathing faster. Jogging and sports are a couple of examples.

The CDC says that as a general rule, 1 minutes of high-intensity exercise counts as 2 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise. And hey, if you do end up overdoing it occasionally with the booze, you can soothe your hangover with these 8 best foods to eat after drinking too much to get your body back in tip-top shape as soon as possiblefor your next workout!

Related:
7 Creative Ways to Stay Active This Fall
Posting on Social Media May Boost Memory
5Complementary Therapies to Ease Chronic Pain

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

67 comments

Jim Ven
Jim Vabout a year ago

thanks for sharing.

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Joanne p.
Joanne pabout a year ago

ty

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Teresa Antela
Teresa Antelaabout a year ago

Tyfa

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Bayla D.
.about a year ago

Glad I'm not a drinker anymore.

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Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne Rabout a year ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Joanne p.
Joanne pabout a year ago

ty

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Wendi M.
Wendi Mabout a year ago

TYFS

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Maxine Stopfer
Maxine Stopferabout a year ago

Better still!! Don't drink.

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Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgenabout a year ago

Thank you

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Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgenabout a year ago

Thank you

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