Exercise Can Reduce the Harm from Alcohol

Exercise Can Reduce the Harm from Alcohol

An International research collaboration has discovered an important link between moderate activity and fewer health risks in people who drink.

Gathering the responses from eight nationally representative baseline health surveys in the UK, the researchers, headed up by the University of Sydney, found that drinkers who did 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise may have less chance of dying from drinking related cancers and ‘all-cause mortality’ than drinkers who were inactive.

Senior author, Emmanuel Stamatakis from the University of Sydney said,

‘Our research suggests that physical activity has substantial health benefits even in the presence of potentially unhealthy behaviours such as drinking alcohol. Among physically inactive people, we saw that the risk for cancer and all-cause mortality was higher even at relatively low levels of drinking,’

He went on to say,

‘We also noticed a dose-response relationship between drinking alcohol and cancer deaths, that is the risk of cancer deaths increased as alcohol consumption increased. But that is not the case among physically active people.’

That said, Dr Stamatakis did point out that cancers attributed to alcohol make up 5.8 per cent of all cancer deaths world-wide and a brisk walk is not going to completely protect drinkers from the health risks.

‘We cannot suggest that doing some exercise is licence to drink more alcohol, as alcohol abuse causes significant health and societal damage. But given that so many people do drink alcohol, our study gives yet another compelling reason to encourage and empower people to be physically active,’

We all know that being active has health benefits across the board. This study reiterates that, particularly in people who drink alcohol, if you get yourself out there for a brisk walk or a bike ride a couple of times a week, not only will it help your waistline but reduce the risk of more severe health issues in the long term.

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