January 08, 2008

This Just in...Live 14 More Years!

[By Crabby]

This study is the sort we love here at Cranky Fitness: Doing these four things helps people live longer. Fourteen years longer, on average.

What's so great about this research? Well the four good health habits are very likely things you're already doing, or at least trying hard to do. So here's some additional motivation to keep on track. And while the study talks about length of life, rather than quality of life, you can bet you're getting both with these four:

  1. Not smoking;
  2. Eating at least 5 servings of fruit/vegetables a day;
  3. Drinking in moderation; and of course,
  4. Exercising.

Not smoking was the biggest life-extender; fruits and veggies were next. Interestingly, exercising and moderate drinking were tied. (This does NOT mean you should substitute Pina Coladas for push-ups--but if you enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, it's another reason to say "cheers!")

Another great thing about this study is that it's not one of those that extols the benefits of healthy living and then comes up with some wimpy little number at the end. You know the kind--you get all excited because you're doing something healthy, then you get to the final paragraph and it says you're 3% less likely to die of some disease that you hadn't even thought to worry about in the first place.

No, this one isn't wimpy. Fourteen years, on average. (Just think how much more whining I'll be able to fit in!)

Note: this is just a little mini-post, tossed out hastily because we'd prefer you to see the study first here on Cranky Fitness. We'd like you to associate us with good health, good news, fine wines, and longevity. Please return to our regularly scheduled programming and check out Mary's post below for actual thoughtful analysis and humor.


  1. You know, I've never been a drinker (I'd rather eat my calories) but I've started having a glass of wine each evening for the health benefits. Just one small glass helps me to switch into relaxed evening mode and makes my sleep much more peaceful.

    Now I just need some Calgon and Daniel Craig to read me the newspaper while I'm in the bath and I'll be all set.

  2. I need to show my BF this post, he laughs at me for having my red wine with dinner a few times a week!

    Hurray it's healthy!

  3. Hmm, and this thought just occured to me, do you think it's ACTUALLY the fruits and vegetables that are extending lifespan, or is it that eating 5 servings of fruits and veggies is indicative of a healthy diet in general?

    i.e. someone who's eating 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day probably isn't washing them down with a milkshake and a bag of chips?

  4. So that's what I get for trying to post to hastily: I found another article that made me rethink the angle I took.

    So I went back and de-emphasized the moderate drinking bit and reposted. While the study does give points for people who drank between a half a glass of wine and seven glasses per week, (meaning this was good) a BBC report seemed to emphasize the "moderate" part more than the "drinking" part, unlike the American articles.

    So we're still good with a glass of wine, but part of the point was that drinking more than moderately wasn't good.

    Sorry, early commenters, for the switcheroo!

    And Sarah, I agree, sometimes these studies are really more measuring "who are the health-conscious people" rather than the effectiveness of individual factors.

  5. I'm with Sarah, wondering if this is about these four habits or general healthy living.

    Either way - 14 years! It's especially interesting given that other study that said people would rather live 10years less than be overweight... how 'bout adopting these habits, and having the best of both worlds?

  6. Sheesh. The Bag Lady is such a screw-up, she has been associating your blog with good health, good news, fine wines and LEVITY, not longevity. Now she has to re-think her position. 14 more years of chasing cows if she quits smoking?! Whee...
    She already eats veggies and drinks - oh wait, what's this moderation shit? Damn.

  7. Finally. A study that recommends I drink more. It's a finding I can respect.

  8. Maybe I should start having a glass of wine at dinner as well sometimes. Although drinking alone in my studio apartment feels quite weird, I admit (I much prefer to enjoy my wine among friends, with gourmet dishes).

    That said, I must be up to 94 years or something if I go on this way. What will I do with all this time on my hands? ;) *hopes she'll still be able to live independently at such an age then!*

  9. My dad is a smoker...I keep trying to get him to quit. He tries so hard, but how many more studies will it take to show people that what they are doing to themselves is bad?!?!
    On a much lighter note...I love red wine, I just cant afford to buy it as often as I would like!Cheers!

  10. Do you have to do them all or can you do half...or alternate them around and still get 7 years for 2 of them at any given time? :)

    I like reading "studies" but know from experience tha tyou can sort of tweak them to say what you want them to...so I'm always a bit suspicious.

  11. Um, I'm really very good at one of those, and spotty on the others, does that count? I'm not telling which either ;)

  12. Thank goodness - now I won't stress about the bottles of wine I've been downing each night. Oops.

  13. 14 more years of complaining sounds like fun to me... especially if I'm healthy and enjoying the ride... :)

  14. that is fantastic news. I do all those things. So now if I don't end up living an extra 14 years, I'm coming back to haunt you!

  15. I'm a little surprised that exercise was last on the list...

  16. Fourteen extra years? Wow. That's really good news. And just think, no one had to eat a single rat to do it. ;)

  17. so... if I do 2 out of 4, will I extend my life by 7 years?

  18. Thanks guys!

    So the even better news--looking at the bbc article a little more closely, the "exercise" they got was really minimal. So I gotta figure most cranky fitness readers are doing WAY more exercise and probably eating more than 5 servings of produce a day so I'd say that's even more years--have fun with 'em!


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