Whether you raced this weekend, overindulged with friends, or both, you’ve done your lifespan a favor.
Recently, two independent studies extol drinking and running for promoting longevity.
Time magazine picked up on a paper that found that heavy drinkers outlive teetotalers. This goes beyond the conventional wisdom that moderate drinkers are the only ones to experience health benefits from alcohol consumption. This finding holds true even after controlling for several outside factors, such as socio-economic status and number of friends.
According to the article:
Abstaining from alcohol does actually tend to increase one’s risk of dying even when you exclude former drinkers. The most shocking part? Abstainers’ mortality rates are higher than those of heavy drinkers… These are remarkable statistics. tweet
While heavy drinkers outlive those who abstain completely from alcohol, moderate drinkers still have the lowest mortality rate. Over the course of the 20-year study, more than 69% of the never-drinkers died, 60% of the heavy drinkers died and only 41% of moderate drinkers died.
Of course, people have been aware of the health benefits of beer a lot longer than this study — maybe even longer than we thought. Turns out, ancient Africans drank beer to soak up natural antibiotics nearly 2,000 years ago, long before the modern age of antibiotics in 1928.
Meanwhile, Men’s Health UK just published an article on how to live to 100. In that article, Dr. Thomas Perls, director of the New England Centenarian Study, said that running five times a week has been shown to add 16 years to your life. Genes may play a part, he said, but 70% of how you age is due to your lifestyle.
So to paraphrase a semi-famous line in the book “Born To Run” – “You don’t stop running and drinking because you get old; You get old because you stop running and drinking.”