UM Study: Boozers Exercise More

Heavy drinkers work out longer than teetotalers, study says

Nicki Bluhm 9.3.16 Connie Bolger (6)
Connie Bolger

You've heard of working out your biceps by lifting your beer bottle to your mouth, but could drinking booze actually lead to more working out?

According to one University of Miami professor, the answer is yes: the more liquor you down, the more likely you are to hit the gym.

In a study published in the American Journal of Health Promotions, professor of health economics Michael French, who said that heavy drinkers tend to work out 19.9 more minutes per week than teetotalers.

"We conducted the study and found that moderate drinkers actually do exercise more but heavier drinkers also exercise more than abstainers, which was a bit of a surprise to us," said French.

The study, which analyzed the data of 230,000 Americans, found that overall, those who booze have a 10 percent increase in probability of engaging in vigorous exercise over non-drinkers.

The study also found that light drinkers tended to exercise 5.7 more minutes per week than non-drinkers and moderate drinkers exercised 10.1 more minutes.

The numbers could mean that drinkers are simply taking steps to fight the caloric intake that comes with drinking, but French had another explanation.

"It could also mean that moderate drinkers are just living a more moderate lifestyle," he said.

So, should drinkers start cracking open that six pack if they want six pack abs?

"We don't want to advocate that those who want to improve their exercise program should start drinking," French said. "In fact, I would strongly suggest that this is not a definitive cause and effect relationship."

South Floridians said the study likely won't change anyone's lifestyle.

"I don't think it's going to change anybody either way," said moderate drinker Corry Smith. "I think that if you work out, you work out, if you drink, you drink. I don't think, you're going to stop either."

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