Sunday, January 13, 2008

Exercise, Drink Alcohol, Live Longer

Danish researchers have determined that people who are physically active and consume alcohol weekly live longer than their non drinking counterparts.

The Danish scientists set out once and for all to determine whether the combination of the two might provide some health perks. The benefits of alcohol and exercise have been separately studied in recent years. This study is the first to explore the effects of combining the two activities.

The Copenhagen Heart Study reveals that you can lower your overall risk of death and prevent heart disease by drinking moderate amounts of alcohol and remaining physically active.

The participants for this study were split up into three categories:

Physically inactive/ low level of activity
Light physical activity for two to four hours a week, or moderate to high level of physical activity
Light physical activity for more than four hours a week, or more vigorous activity for two or more hours a week.

Alcohol intake was classified as:

Non drinkers (less than one drink a week)
Moderate drinkers (one to 14 drinks a week)
Heavy drinkers (15 or more drinks a week).

The group was followed over a period of twenty years, and the conclusions are certainly enlightening, as follows:

Those who drank moderate amounts of alcohol, in any physical activity category, had the lowest hazard ratio for heart disease and overall mortatlity.

Dr Morten Grønbæk from the National Institute of Public Health, Copenhagen, said: "Our study shows that being both physically active and drinking a moderate amount of alcohol is important for lowering the risk of both fatal IHD and death from all causes.

Physicians may have a difficult time delivering such a message to their patients; for others this may be some of the best medical news to date.

Tea drinking may be your preference for imbibing. You can still add years to your life by increasing your level of exercise.

Ref: Eur Heart J. 2008; DOI:10.1093/eurheartj/ehm574 ◦