A new study suggests that regular exercise may help mitigate some of the health risks associated with drinking alcohol. According to the latest Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, adults should exercise at least two and half hours of exercise a week by walking, running, dancing, gardening, or participating in other moderate physical activities. But is this really enough to reduce the long-term negative effects that may be associated with alcohol, such as cancer? The new study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine says so, but there’s a caveat.
Exercise and Alcohol
For the study, researchers investigated the link between alcohol and exercise by assessing surveys conducted from 1994 to 2006 of more than 36,000 participants over the age of 40 in England and Scotland. The surveys included questions about exercise patterns, drinking habits, and other lifestyle factors. When designing the survey, the authors set 12 drinks for men and women as a benchmark. After examining the data, researchers revealed that participants who drank alcohol and exercised weekly had a substantially lower chance of death from conditions like cancer. For participants who didn't exercise, however, the odds of dying from cancer increased by 36 percent.
The CDC warns against excessive consumption of alcohol to lower the risk of cancer.
Alcohol-Related Health Conditions
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimates that there are around 88,000 deaths from alcohol-related causes in the U.S. annually. What's more alarming is that these staggering statistics do not account for underage drinking deaths.
The factors that contribute to the death and the development of alcohol-related diseases are determined in part by how much a person drinks, consumption patterns, and the quality of alcohol. Besides cancer, alcohol significantly increases the risk for developing neuropsychiatric conditions, cardiovascular disease, and digestive tract conditions.
Some of the things that affect the outcomes of alcohol-related chronic diseases include gender, age, income level, drinking culture, and environment. Having access to quality healthcare is also a determining factor of certain drinking outcomes. Given the results of the study and the potential for developing serious illnesses, it is best to limit alcohol and exercise frequently to maintain good general health.