Can Exercise Counteract a Night of Drinking? A New Study Says Yes

POPSUGAR Photography | Sheila Gim
POPSUGAR Photography | Sheila Gim

Big news for anyone who likes to imbibe. Researchers for the British Journal of Sports Medicine recently tried to see if routine exercise could somehow lessen the risk of cancer illnesses related to drinking; their findings may or may not make you rethink your happy hour plans.

Done exclusively in Scotland and England, the study looked at 36,370 people, all above 40 years old, of varying fitness and drinking predilections. The subjects were categorized into people who were not active, moderately active, and very active, i.e. adults who exceed the recommended 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week.

Over the course of 10 years, they found that most of the cancer-related deaths they observed were linked to low levels of physical activity and hazardous levels of drinking, which they defined as eight to 20 standards drinks for women and 21 to 49 for men per week.

Meanwhile, consistent physical activity throughout a person's lifetime can significantly reduce the risk of cancer or cardiovascular problems, even if that person still drinks regularly. The study does, however, recommend a weekly maximum of eight drinks for women and 12 for men.

So is the study particularly shocking? Well, yes and no. While it's already common knowledge that regular exercise can lead to longevity, it is surprising to see that it can so effectively counteract a night of drinking. Either way, it only serves as further proof that moderation is key when it comes to alcohol consumption.