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Does drinking alcohol make you exercise more?

Posted Oct 26 2009 11:04pm

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Yes! It seems that drinking alcoholic beverages does make you exercise more!

So now, I’m sure you are dying to know why. Well, I have one word for you: guilt!

The American Journal of Health Promotion conducted a telephone survey among men and women who drank, and the results are quite fascinating.

I know if I have too many drinks at a function (I’m not a big drinker, but one or two glasses at each event adds up quickly), I’ll be more careful about what I eat the next day and I will definitely make a point to train (since alcoholic beverages are packed with calories), but I thought it was only me.

During the holidays, I’ve found one of the best ways for me to keep my weight in check in the midst of endless parties, cocktail receptions and lunches was to maintain a regular workout schedule.

If I don’t, then I’m in trouble. But if I do, I can usually get through the holiday season without any changes at all in my weight.

The American Journal of Health Promotion might have actually been able to put hard facts to my weight control strategy.

According to their survey, Americans who drank were 10 per cent more inclined to be involved in physical activities compared to those who didn’t drink at all. In fact, the survey found that men and women who drink exercised 7.2 minutes more each week than non-drinkers.

I’ll agree that 7.2 minutes a week is not that much, but if you add it up over 50 weeks (taking 2 weeks off for vacation), then you are looking at an additional 360 minutes (or an extra 6 hours) of workouts per year.

Now, I’m not quite sure how this statistic holds up when people drink heavily, because I cannot imagine that anyone with a hangover would actually be able to make their way to a fitness session, but I assume that once you’ve sobered up, you might decide to go for a run.

Of course, if you are a heavy drinker or a binge drinker, no amount of exercise will save your liver. When you consume over a certain number of drinks per week, it becomes quite dangerous for your health.

So my question is: have you actually gone to a party, had a few too many to drink and then hit the gym, went for a run or did any other type of physical activity the next day?

I’d love to hear from you … so leave a comment below!

Photo by Edwin Land

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