Exercise and Booze

Moderate exercise may lessen some of the negative health effects of booze. That comes from a recent report published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

From CNN.com:

Exercising the recommended amount “appeared to wipe off completely” the inflated risk of cancer death resulting from alcohol, said (senior author Dr. Emmanuel) Stamatakis. Similar physical activity also offset the increased risk of all-cause mortality linked to drinking. Exercising more provided slightly better results.
One thing exercise did not moderate, though, was death risk among those who drank at harmful levels — “over 20 US standard drinks per week for women and over 28 US standard drinks for men,” said Stamatakis.
If you are wondering what the “recommended” amount of exercise is – according to Men’s Fitness, it is “150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity” per week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists several examples of moderate aerobic activity on its website including:
  • Walking fast
  • Doing water aerobics
  • Riding a bike on level ground or with few hills
  • Playing doubles tennis, and
  • Pushing a lawn mower

However, this new study does not mean you can exercise away all of the harm that drinking can cause. Time Magazine wrote:

But that doesn’t mean that you can drink with abandon and expect a few hours at the gym or a walking the dog to negate your indulging. Stamatakis notes that while his study found a potential protective effect on deaths from cancer if alcohol is considered together with exercise, drinking comes with a range of other health issues, some of which can impact mortality in other ways, including liver problems, domestic violence and depression. As tempting as it might be to think you can exercise away your night of drinking, it’s still best, says Stamatakis, to “stay within recommended limits and avoid binge drinking.” 
Share your thoughts on this new study and whether you believe some people might misinterpret it as a free pass to drink to excess as long as they get in a good workout. Informing the people of our state and helping them better understand the latest health stories making headlines are two more ways we are working toward our long-term goal of one day make Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!

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