If you increase your chance of living into your 90’s, get out of the gym and into a bar. Stop pumping iron and start pulling corks.
OK, OK! Yes, that’s an overstatement. But some new research does indicate that moderate alcohol consumption actually outperforms exercise when it comes to fostering longevity.
Beginning in 2003, a University of California neurologist tracked 1,700 90-somethings to examine how their daily habits impacted longevity. Among the findings: study participants who drank two glasses of beer or wine per day were 18 percent less likely to experience premature death. Those who got 15 to 45 minutes of exercise per day reduced the same risk by just 11 percent. Those who drank two cups of coffee a day cut their risk by 10 percent.
Interestingly, participants who were a bit overweight cut their odds of early death by 3 percent.
I’m not a doctor, or a longevity researcher. But I do have a theory about these sorts of findings. I think it’s less about how much we drink or exercise, and more about our mindset. It seems to me that someone who drinks alcohol and coffee in moderation – and doesn’t worry about carrying a few extra pounds – is probably an easy-going, balanced person. Stress is a proven killer. Folk who are able to minimize it probably live longer.
Just a theory. Feel free to analyze it over a glass of wine.