Drinking and exercise? Give in to beer pressure

I like to read newspaper articles containing the words “exercise” or “workout” in the headline, hoping that new research will prove the whole thing is a big waste of time or is actually bad for you. They keep changing their minds about the pros and cons of coffee — so you never know.

The first real review of the benefits of exercise was in the early 1900s when a scientist divided people into two groups to compare their relative health. Half exercised daily or had jobs that required physical exertion. All those people are dead now. So, there you go.

A new study claims that people who drink beer are more apt to exercise on a regular basis. This seems counter-intuitive. I know, because I was sitting at a counter having a brew when I read about it. Maybe this is how people get six-pack abs.

Scientists caution people not to misunderstand these findings. For example, a jogger might assume that a positive correlation between exercising and drinking serves as an excuse to overindulge. This could result in a serious running problem.

The volunteers for this study were asked to install an app on their smart phone so they could document when they imbibed and when they exercised. This generated some false data because after a few drinks a lot of the subjects clicked on the wrong icon and ended up playing a really lousy round of Angry Birds or Pac Man. According to the report, people drank much more than usual on the very day they went to the gym … which may explain why I can’t remember the last time I exercised.

Lab animals have been used to more carefully study the connection between exercising and alcohol. Apparently rodents were much more interested in a little booze after spending the day in a rat race. Sound familiar?

Just as you should carefully select the proper wine with food, I’d suggest careful attention to your choice of libation during your workout routine. If you are jumping rope, opt for a nice, hoppy ale. A cold draft seems appropriate while running a winter marathon. If you are trying to add some bulk to your frame, then enjoy a hearty stout. Attempting to break a world record for push-ups? A Guinness, of course. OK, that was way too many examples.

In more news, a pub owner in Wisconsin is starting a weekly meet-up called Butts and Beers where he sponsors group aerobic activities, then provides his customers with a wide selection of local brews. His big annual shindig is a 5K run, but it’s only a 100-yard dash. (The K stands for Keg.)

Finally, a new drink called Lean Machine is currently being marketed in California, touted as a “recovery ale.” It’s supposed to be a substitute for Gatorade or Powerade, but it’s basically beer with a bit less alcohol and some added sodium. A growing number of fitness buffs in L.A. are drinking this stuff just to be hip.

Who can resist beer pressure?