Cheers! But also: not cheers?
(Photo: Jason McELweenie
Well I suppose the good news is:
Spending two and a half hours a week walking, gardening or playing golf may offset the deadly impact of drinking too much alcohol, new research suggests.
— Telegraph, September 8 2016
GARDENING. We can offset all those pints, all those tequilas, those cheeky late night vodka-Red Bulls, all those rounds of shots, the tins you drink on a sofa on a Monday night to take the edge off the first day back at work, the wine with dinner, the whiskey you have to soften the day away before you drift off to sleep: we can offset all that (the thinned-down vodka you have with a cheap off-brand mixer in a nightclub and spill down and over yourself, sticky with it, sticky but euphoric, you are young but the night isn't, drink, drink, hooray)(the Pimm's you have at your mum's birthday party, she asks you to stop and calm down but you're just having fun, "What?" you're saying, "I'm just having fun! Your friends love me!" and then you wake up, as you always do, over the toilet with a towel over you for a blanket, the light of the day searing against you so hard it burns and you feel like your mouth will never taste right again) with a few tulips, some light cutting, a bit of a mow of a lawn. Or we can walk to the Big Morrisons that's a bit further away but offers a bit of a leg-stretch and plus: they have the best offers on large-purchase alcohol, so, win-win.
Although health guidelines state that both men and women should stop drinking at 14 units a week – the equivalent of seven medium glasses of wine or pints of beer – the new study suggests that exercising mitigates the lethal impact of alcohol even at higher than recommended levels.
Yeah so essentially a study between University College London and the University of Sydney found that exercising for two-and-a-half hours a week – and, as previously stated, it doesn't even need to be real exercise, it can be crap non-exercise like walking or something – can mitigate all of the heightened risk of death that comes with drinking.
The bad news, I suppose, is there is definitely a heightened risk of death that comes with drinking. Like: cancer. But also heart stuff. Liver all fuck up. Big ol' stroke. The study – which extrapolated research findings from eight Health Surveys from 1994 to 2006 – found there was an increased mortality risk for all categorised drinkers, even those who operated within the overly tight government guidelines of 1.6 units a day for women and 2.4 a day for men. That risk was substantially offset or at least lessened by walking around really quickly for 150 minutes a week, but the risk is still there. So it's sticky. Alcohol: definitely bad. But also: definitely good. Exercise: definitely bad. But also: definitely good. If you can do both, in the exact right balance, you should be alright, but honestly we all know you're not going to. "Prosecco with brunch, you say! Don't mind if I do!" — literally you.
The study's lead researcher Professor Emmanuel Stamakis said, like, if you're going to drink loads of alcohol and then try and exercise the cancer risk away, then be careful? With that? "We cannot suggest that doing some exercise is a licence to drink more alcohol, as alcohol abuse causes significant health and societal damage," he said. "Our research suggests that physical activity has substantial health benefits even in the presence of potentially unhealthy behaviours such as drinking alcohol." Ah, science. You giveth and you taketh.
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