Alcohol Drinkers May Be More Likely To Exercise
Subjects were divided into four categories based on their frequency of alcohol consumption:
- Abstainers: No alcohol consumption within the 30 days leading up to the test date.
- Light Drinkers: Females who consumed 1 to 14 alcoholic drinks and males who drank 1 to 29 alcoholic drinks in the preceding 30 days.
- Moderate Drinkers: Females who drank 15 to 45 alcoholic drinks and males who consumed 30 to 75 alcoholic beverages in the 30 days prior to the interview date.
- Heavy Drinkers: Females who consumed more than 46 alcoholic beverages and males who drank more than 76 alcoholic drinks within the 30 days leading up to the test date.
- Women drinkers exercised approximately 7.2 minutes more per week than female abstainers and that male drinkers exercised an estimated 5.5 minutes more than their teetotaler counterparts.
- Ten extra drinks per month increased the likelihood of engaging in vigorous exercise by 2.0 percent.
- Light, moderate and heavy drinkers exercised 5.7, 10.1 and 19.9 minutes more per week, respectively, than abstainers; and, they were 9.0, 14.3 and 13.7 percent, respectively, more likely to engage in vigorous exercise than their abstaining peers.
- Risk-loving individuals follow a sensation-seeking lifestyle which could include both heavy drinking and participation in high-risk physical activities (e.g., mountaineering, deep sea diving, etc.,).
- Group sports participation often results in socializing post-game, which frequently includes gatherings where alcohol is served.
- Knowledge that alcohol is highly caloric may result in engaging in exercise to offset the extra calories consumed.
- Although increased alcohol consumption is associated with a greater probability of engaging in health-promoting exercise, the risks of problematic drinking can outweigh the benefits of physical activity. Care still needs to be taken to drink in moderation and responsibly.
AM J Health Promot. 2009; 24(1): 2-10.