Two secrets to a long, healthy life: exercise and…umm…

Calvin CoolidgeA colleague of mine who knows a bit about the evolutionary biology of ethanol use, forwarded me a recent article in the European Heart Journal, entitled “The combined influence of leisure-time physical activity and weekly alcohol intake on fatal ischaemic heart disease and all-cause mortality.”

The upshot? Light to moderate physical activity (>4 h week) combined with moderate alcohol intake (4-10 drinks/week) minimized rates heart attacks and death in general in a sample of 19,329 Copenhagans. Abstention from alcohol, or 19-41 drinks/week, both tended to increase mortality in a similar fashion.

News you can use. Now it’s time for my martini.


3 Responses to Two secrets to a long, healthy life: exercise and…umm…

  1. Scott says:

    No wonder I feel so healthy. Be careful though, too much healthy living won’t do much for “getting things done in academia” (

  2. Helen says:

    However, even moderate alcohol consumption has been linked to an increased risk of gastro-intestinal cancers, oral cancer, breast cancer (especially in conjunction with HRT), and alteration of brain structure and function.

    (check out the health articles available on for various references for the above).

    I wonder how much of the positive effects are due to the fact that alcohol tends to be a social lubricant and aid to relaxation. What if we go out and enjoy a few snacks and softdrinks with our friends, learn to laugh with abandon (without the need for inhibition-removing chemicals) and practice meditating and relaxing rather than self-medicating.

    I like the odd drink, too, but I’m trying to be realistic about it: it isn’t good for me. I’ll occasionally have one because I like the taste of wine and whisky, but I’m no longer using it to alter my mood.

  3. Well I must say that this was new information for me and I sure will apply what ever is necessary for me stay healthy for long.This was a great finding and I hope others will apply it and pass it on to generations to come.I enjoyed this thank you once again.

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