Being physically active and drinking alcohol in moderation are among the tenets of a healthy lifestyle but it appears that these two do not always go together. Findings of a new study have found that people were likely to drink more than usual on days when they exercise more.

For the new study "Daily Physical Activity and Alcohol Use Across the Adult Lifespan," which was published in the Health Psychology on Sept. 15, David Conroy, from the Center for Behavior and Health of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues involved 150 individuals between 18 and 89 years old who recorded their level of physical activities and alcohol consumptions daily for three weeks at a time at three different periods over the course of one year.

The researchers found that the participants tend to be more physically active starting Thursday until Sunday and were also likely to drink more alcohol during this period.

Conroy noted that people who engage more in physical exercise do not necessarily drink more in general because regardless of the study participants' level of physical activity (PA) and age, they have found that people tend to drink more on days when they are more physically active than when they are less active.

"After controlling for age, gender, and seasonal and social calendar influences, daily deviations in PA were significantly associated with daily total alcohol use," the researchers wrote. "Once the within-person process linking PA and alcohol use was controlled, usual PA and total alcohol use were not associated."

The researchers said that the findings are odd because healthy behaviors often cluster. People who exercise, for instance, were known to more likely eat healthier diet and do not smoke. The researchers said that this warrants additional studies although Conroy said it is possible that people reward themselves after spending time at the gym, which unfortunately isn't really a good idea as earlier studies have shown that drinking too much alcohol can negate the benefits of exercise.

It is also possible that people just like to drink with the people they exercise with.

"Perhaps people reward themselves for working out by having more to drink or maybe being physically active leads them to encountering more social situations where alcohol is consumed -- we don't know," Conroy said adding that they can come up with novel interventions that could promote physical activity and curb alcohol use once they clearly understand the link between the two.

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