Several studies during the last couple of decades have evidenced that drinking wine in moderation is good for health even though it adds to the calorific intake but daily brisk walk for 40 minutes is enough to counter the effect of wine on weight with all the inherent benefits, making it a great combination for a healthy lifestyle.
One morning last week as I was on my morning walk, I suddenly remembered an old song of the 70s, ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ by the late Lou Reed. He claimed to have been in turn inspired by a book of the same name in the 1950s. The lyrics went something like ‘Hey Honey, Take a walk on the wild side.’ That’s when it hit me-why don’t we all take a walk on the wine side for good health. I mean a brisk walk daily with 2 glasses of (red) wine to make a healthy lifestyle package.
Sometimes weight-conscious people avoid drinking wine as they feel it adds to weight. I have often maintained it is not the wine but the food that goes with it that adds to the calories and the girth. Two glasses of red wine (150 mL) with an alcohol level of 13.5% contain about 260 calories (higher alcohol means more calories and dry white wine has fewer calories due to generally lower alcohol in it). Here is an antidote for their anxiety. An average person weighing 80 Kgs would burn 275 calories with a brisk walk for 40 minutes on a plain surface at a speed of 6 kms /hour.
Several studies during the past 25 years have shown positive benefits of wine on heart and general health when consumed regularly in moderation (2 glasses of 125 mL a day-preferably red wine). The credit for this has been given to one compound- resveratrol which is an antioxidant and found in the skins and pips of the grapes. This resulted in several studies focusing exclusively on this compound with many pharmaceutical companies having introduced resveratrol capsules and claiming they are as good as wine for health and longevity. Of late, there has been a trend to pick out and study resveratrol rather than wine and study the effect mostly on mice and monkeys. A few studies have ‘evidenced’ that the compound does not prove to be as beneficial as some previous wine studies suggested.
However, empirical studies on wine have been fairly consistent with their findings. In any case, two glasses of wine help improve HDL, reduce Blood Pressure and are even good for Type 2 diabetes. My detailed Blog last month delved on the subject in fair detail.
Wine and health: Wine is good for You and your Teeth
Walking has two benefits. Many people, averse to exercise might feel that burning only 240-275 calories in 40 minutes is boring and cannot help reduce weight as much higher burnout rate is required. However, every doctor and hospital would tell you that it helps you maintain a healthy weight, prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. The website of Mayo Clinic says it even strengthen your bones, improves your balance and coordination and lifts your mood, though it is debatable if it can do it better than wine.
The fact remains that there may not be a palatable explanation in favour of wine or walking but the practical results and scientific studies have shown them both to contribute to good health-and what’s more, the extra consumed calories being burnt off by 40 minutes of walking every day. You may adjust your walking speed, time and the gradient but that should not translate into higher consumption of wine because it’s the additional level of alcohol that has negative impact on the liver and many other related body parts.
Therefore, if you want a healthier life,
Honey, take a Walk on the Wine Side!!
Subhash Arora, President