Everyone has their own personal hangover cure, from certain foods to just laying in bed all day, but a new study suggests that those who prefer to sweat out the alcohol with exercise the day after drinking may actually have the upper hand. The research found that physical activity may decrease the risk of death, even from cancer.

The study, led by the University of Sydney and now published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, found that exercising at even basic recommended weekly physical activity levels (at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity) may offset some of the harmful effects of drinking alcohol. While the findings do not suggest that exercise completely offsets the adverse affects of alcohol, they do show just how significant of an effect physical activity can have on our overall health.

Not only did the data show the importance of exercise even in the presence of unhealthy behaviors, the researchers also noted that individuals who drank low amounts of alcohol still had relatively increased risks for cancer and death from any cause when compared against active individual who drank more.

"We also noticed a dose-response relationship between drinking alcohol and cancer deaths, that is the risk of cancer deaths increased as alcohol consumption increased. But this was not the case among physically active people,” said study author Dr. Emmanuel Stamatakis in a recent statement.

For the study, the international team drew on responses from eight nationally representative baseline health surveys carried out in the United Kingdom between 1994 and 2006 which looked at the impact of physical activity and alcohol consumption on health outcomes.

"We cannot suggest that doing some exercise is a licence to drink more alcohol, as alcohol abuse causes significant health and societal damage. But given that so many people do drink alcohol, our study gives yet another compelling reason to encourage and empower people to be physically active and ask policy makers to invest in physical activity-friendly environments," added Stamatakis.

Source: Perreault K, Bauman A, Johnson N, Britton A, Rangul V, Stamatakis E. Does physical activity moderate the association between alcohol drinking and all-cause, cancer and cardiovascular diseases mortality? A pooled analysis of eight British population cohorts. British Journal of Sports Medicine . 2016

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