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Lots of exercise and a little bit of alcohol to keep the doctor away

lotsexerciseaway.jpgPhysical activity is good for your health. This we know. Moderate alcohol intake is said to be healthy, too. So what do you get when you combine these 2 together?

A Danish study tells us that lots of exercise and a little bit of alcohol may actually be the perfect recipe to a long life. The study followed up 11,914 men and women for almost 20 years and observed their physical activities and alcohol intake habits. Their results can be summarized as:

* Non-drinking couch potatoes have the highest risk of having heart problems – 49% higher than the rest.

* The physically active teetotalers have about 33% lower risk than those leading sedentary lifestyles.

* The physically active moderate drinkers have almost 50% lower risk than those leading sedentary lifestyles.

* Among those who are active and doing similar amounts of exercise, the moderate drinkers won hands down, having 30% less likelihood to have heart disease than their non-drinking counterparts.

The study defined ?moderate? drinking as 1 to 14 units of alcohol a week, with 1 unit of alcohol being equal to half a pint of normal strength beer, half of a medium-sized glass of wine, or a single shot of a spirit.

But remember, a little bit of alcohol may be healthy but alcohol abuse is not.


European Heart Journal January 2008 29(2):204-212

BBC News January 9, 2008

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