The facts are in and evidence now suggests that going on a stag weekend is actually beneficial to your health reports StagWeb.co.uk.
Forget the old worries of late nights and hangovers, the pros outweigh the cons according to a number of scientific papers and research (note; massive disclaimers are likely to apply, depending on your appetite for partying).
While it’s true that stag dos tend to involve a little more drinking and partying than the average weekend, when done in moderation there does appear to be a of number medically documented advantages to getting away with your mates.
Getting The Lads Together
According to a German study into male Barbary macaque apes printed in the PNAs journal, spending time with other males and male bonding is more likely to lower stress levels than time spent with other family members or a partner.
“The strength of these (male) “friendships” has now been shown to buffer against the negative effects of social and environmental stressors.” [source PNAS]
Any similarities between your own friends and a pack of howling apes is probably just coincidental.
You’re ‘avin a laugh…
It has long been believed that laughter has a number of medical benefits. So getting away and having a laugh with your mates is certainly no bad thing. The Mayo Clinic is among those that have published on the positive life enhancing changes that a good belly laugh can provide.
Short term benefits include;
- Stimulating Organs Laughter enhances the intake of oxygen which stimulates the heart, muscles and lungs.
- Feel Good Factor As well as releasing “feel good” endorphins, promoting positive mood, laughter increases the blood pressure and heart rate which helps relieve stress. Perfect for grooms ahead of one of the most stressful events of their life (not forgetting the best man who might be nervous about his speech).
- Stress Less Laughter can also help stimulate circulation which in turn aids muscle relaxation. Both of these are conducive to lower stress levels.
Long term benefits include;
- Boosts Immune System “Positive thoughts actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.”
- Pain Relief Laughter releases natural painkillers and can also break pain/spasm cycles which are common to some muscle disorders.
- Getting Along In difficult situations laughter can be a great way to release your internal pressure valve which is why “black humour” often plays a vital part in helping traumatic professions cope with their work (ambulance, fire service, police officers, military personnel, etc). It is also a useful tool to connect with other people.
- In The Mood Laughter is believed to lessen depression and anxiety often associated with all sorts of medical and psychological conditions.
Beer is Good For You…
“People should realize that a little bit of alcohol on a regular basis decreases the risks of aging.” [source Forbes]
Ancient druids and monks have long recognised the beatific benefits of alcoholic beverages. And now modern science is backing up the brotherly claims.
- Barcelona University, Barcelona Hospital and the Carlos III Institute of Health in Madrid found that the folic acid in beer and cider provides a “protective effect on the cardiovascular system”. “Moderate beer consumption is associated with nutritional and health benefits. It does not necessarily mean weight gain since it has no fat and calorie content is low.” Dr Ramon Estruch.
- The same study found beer doesn’t have to mean “bear belly”. Men who drank up to a pint a day and ate a Mediterranean style diet “not only did not put on weight, but in some cases even lost weight.” [source News-Medical]
- According to a study by Italy’s Fondazione di Ricerca e Cura compared to non-drinkers, moderate beer drinking will make you 31% less likely to suffer strokes, heart disease or heart attacks. “What we are talking about is moderate and regular drinking. I think we will never stress enough this concept.” Augusto Di Castelnuovo, [source European Journal of Epidemiology]
- Research at the University of Boston found that not only does beer make blood vessels less likely to clot but also could potentially be the elixir of life. Boston University’s Professor of Medicine and Public Health, Dr R Curtis Ellison said “People should realize that a little bit of alcohol on a regular basis decreases the risks of aging.” [source Forbes]
Adrenaline Highs Kick Ass!
Somewhat counter-intuitively the benefit of adrenaline charged activities isn’t in reducing stress but in causing it. Seems weird? Well researchers at Texas A&M University found that activities that create more epinephrine and cortisol (a.k.a. adrenalin) prepare your body for everyday life.
On a regular basis (as is often the case for guys attending multiple stag weekends over the summer period) by overloading on adrenalin your body stress levels learn to adjust quicker to sudden surges of adrenalin allowing men to remain calmer under pressure. [source Men’s Health]
So with this scientifically supported case presented there is no longer any need to have to explain to your partner why you’re having to go away on yet another stag weekend. You can simply state it’s for the health benefits. It also means that if you are responsible for booking a stag weekend for the lads you can now help increase their physical and mental wellbeing with a well balanced diet of male bonding, laughter, activity and beer.
If you’re not convinced there really is only one way to find out. Getaway with the lads and have a great weekend.