Exercise, Alcohol and Heart Health/Fatal Heart Attacks

Exercising is good for heart health and drinking alcohol (beer, wine and liquor) in moderation is too. So can we substitute one for the other?

To see if exercise and moderate alcohol consumption are interchangeable, researchers at the National Institute of Public Health in Denmark studied about 12,000 men and women over a period of 20 years.
The medical investigators found:

The medical research indicates that moderate drinking and exercising are not interchangeable but are cumulative in their positive effects on the cardiovascular system. Doing one is better than nothing, but doing both is the best choice of all and dramatically reduces the risk death from heart attack. The same was also found for all-cause mortality

Some people should not drink because of alcoholism, pregnancy or other reasons. Therefore the researchers note that "As there might be good reasons for alcohol abstention, it is important that physical activity can reverse some of the adverse health effects associated with alcohol abstention."



  • Pedersen, Jane Østergaard, Berit Lilienthal Heitmann, Berit, Schnohr, Peter, and Grønbæk, Morten. The combined influence of leisure-time physical activity and weekly alcohol intake on fatal ischaemic heart disease and all-cause mortality. European Heart Journal, 2008, 29(2), 204-212.

Filed Under: Heart

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