A study conducted in the United Kingdom has suggested that those who take alcohol on regular basis should make sure to include exercise as a daily part of their life.
However, further analysis revealed the risk of death was lowered in people who exercised more.
Unsurprisingly, the team found that drinking itself is linked to higher rates of early death from any cause, as well as death from cancer, with the more alcohol consumed the higher the risk of early death.
"The protective effects of physical activity were evident from a level of meeting the minimal public health recommendations of physical activity", the authors write.
Nevertheless, the findings suggest that physical activity has the potential to promote health and to moderate some of the harmful effects of drinking, even when undertaken at the minimum weekly levels.
Getting the recommended amount of weekly exercise (just 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity) seems to completely negate the heightened risk of cancer death related to alcohol consumption, according to researchers.
Break that down and it's just over 20 minutes a day. This includes brisk walking, bicycling, ballroom dancing and gardening.
The journal's observational study of more than 35,000 people between 1994 and 2006 found that for alcohol drinkers, physical activity decreased the risks of dying from cancer.
The odds of death tied to hazardous drinking were also slashed, the study reported. They were classified by the amount of physical activity performed in regular periods of time, and then their alcohol consumption was analyzed for comparison.
The exception in both cases was for those in the "harmful" drinking group.
Stamatakis' colleagues helped him gathered data from health surveys conducted in England and Scotland, They grouped the people who participated in the study. The total was 36,370 patients aged older than 40. Alcohol forces the liver to abandon its work getting rid of fatty acids, exercise does the reverse, using up fat as fuel.
Over almost 10 years of follow-up, there were 5,735 deaths. Hazardous drinking is 8 to 20 United States standard drinks for women and 21 to 49 for men, as defined by the researchers.
Still, the positive impacts of exercising to offset drinking has gotten people calling for fitness trainers to hang around pubs (drinking soda water, I presume) to convince drinkers to be more active, reports The Guardian.
But while this might be more of a reason to exercise, it's not an excuse to justify a huge bender every weekend, say experts.