Drinkers More Physically Active Than Abstainers


Who’da thunk it??  Science Daily reports on a study in the September/October issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion indicates that drinkers exercised more than abstainers–and those who drank more exercised more!

“Among women, those currently using alcohol exercised 7.2 minutes more per week than those who abstained. Relative to abstainers, the more alcohol used, the longer the person exercised. Specifically, light, moderate and heavy drinkers exercised 5.7, 10.1 and 19.9 minutes more per week. Overall, drinking was associated with a 10.1 percent increase in the probability of engaging in vigorous physical activity. The results for men were similar.”

That outcome might be surprising to a lot of people.  However, it’s interesting to note that for 2008 Colorado was the leanest state in the nation with an obesity rate of 18.4% yet a recent Men’s Health survey listed Denver as the most dangerously drunk city in the nation.

What does all this mean?  It seems we might see parallels between alcohol and medicine.  Too much of either will sicken and/or kill us but the right amount might be healthy.  It certainly seems clear that some degree of alcohol consumption works well for a lot of people.

In my experience the drinking culture here in the Denver area is one that is strongly balanced with vigorous exercise. Hiking, skiing, kayaking, mountain biking, and/or running is often followed by a loosely reasonable amount of the region’s superb beer.  Combine these habits and you get a fairly healthy and happy population.