Another Reason To Bless Charlie Mops

Like I said, alcohol and exercise go great together:

People who drink regularly seem to exercise more often than teetotalers, and those who average more than a drink or two a day may be the most active, a new study suggests. . . .

Compared with abstainers, those considered heavy drinkers — at least 46 drinks in the past month for women, and 76 or more for men — exercised for an average of 20 minutes more per week.

Meanwhile, moderate drinkers — which included women who had 15 to 45 drinks in a month, and men who had 30 to 75 — got 10 extra minutes of exercise each week.

Both moderate and heavy drinkers were also more likely to report vigorous exercise, like jogging, than either light drinkers or abstainers, the researchers report in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Compared with non-drinkers, adults in both groups were about 14 percent more likely to say they got some vigorous exercise in a typical week.

Of course, the study can’t explain why the two things go together. The authors’ guesses make sense to me, though:

One potential reason for the link, French noted, is that some regular drinkers use exercise as a way to counteract the calories from alcohol. It’s also possible that drinking at “responsible” levels is a maker of a generally healthy lifestyle, the researcher said.

For its part, relatively heavy drinking might be part of a “sensation- seeking” lifestyle for some people, French and his colleagues speculate.

Speaking for myself, all three are partially accurate descriptions. Calorie consciousness is part of it. I’m very vain, and thus very proud to be wearing the same size jeans I wore in high school. One of the reasons I ride a lot is so I can drink and eat a lot without having to increase pants size. My own lifestyle, I think, would also be called healthy overall. Even when not “exercising,” our idea of fun is a two mile walk to the library, or spending time playing with the kids at the park or something similarly active. While we don’t count calories, we don’t eat fast food, either. As for “sensation-seeking,” you’ll never see me on the X-Games, but I like to have fun on my bike, especially the mountain bike.

As for what the study might mean for public policy, I like this:

Findings like this make me wonder why most states have a sin tax on alcohol – a drink that seems to protect the heart, prevent dementia, raise levels of good HDL cholesterol and makes us go jogging – but our politicians lack the courage to raise taxes on the empty calories of soda drinks, which are a driving force behind the obesity epidemic.

Again, speaking for myself, I feel much more guilt for drinking a Coke with dinner than for drinking a beer with dinner. The latter may be bad for you in excess, but the former is bad for you even in normal amounts.

So sing it with me . . .

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3 Comments on “Another Reason To Bless Charlie Mops”

  1. mom Says:

    Enjoy life; balance what you eat & drink and be grateful for all of it ~ that’s health.
    Catchy toon too…it will probably stick in my head all day.

  2. draftsonyou Says:

    I seem to recall another study of endurance athletes that correlated heavy drinking. One of the speculative explainations identified obsessive personality traits in both athletes and alcoholics. “If one beer/mile is good, then 20 must be REALLY good.” Right?!

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