While many studies have shown the benefits of a glass of wine, most of us are at least aware of the harmful effects of alcohol and try to live by the "everything in moderation" rule.
However, if you do tend to indulge a little too much, we have some good news for you. Looking at the link between alcohol, deaths (all cause, cancer and cardiovascular diseases) and physical exercise, a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, coming out of the University of Sydney has found that exercise may help offset the damage you've done.
The report, led by Emmanuel Stamatakis, an associate professor at the university, has specifically looked at how alcohol consumption and exercise affect each other and what that meant for mortality. What they did find, is that drinking can lead to an early death (from various causes) but also death from cancer. Scary, right?
Interestingly, when the researchers look at those who met the recommended 150+ hours of exercise, the mortality rate was lower (and didn't drink any more than one to two standard drinks a day). Naturally, those who binge-drank above these amounts (the recommended guidelines for alcohol consumption) had a higher mortality rate regardless of how many miles they ran. Though there was a slight improvement in heart-related deaths for those that did exercise. "Among the physically active, there was no increase in cancer and all-cause mortality up to hazardous levels of alcohol consumption," Stamatakis said in the report, adding that it didn't really matter ghow much they actually exercised. "It looks like there is a kind of ceiling on the protective effect of physical activity."
So what does this mean? Stay within the recommended guidelines of no more than two standard drinks a night, hit the gym for at least two hours a week, and you'll do your body a world of favours. Again, moderation.