On a regular basis, you see information posted that offers some kind of scientific evidence of the health benefits of eating, drinking or doing certain activities.

I always read them and then try to figure out how I would fit into that statistic.

For instance, at one time, drinking more than a few cups of coffee daily was considered unhealthy, bad for your heart. I always tried to ignore that particular warning because I love coffee and drink at least five cups daily. How relieved I was to discover last year that now coffee actually has been found to have some benefits and you can drink to your heart’s pleasure.

Red wine, of course in moderation keeps your circulation going.

Even though I’m not as much a chocolate lover as Angela was, we’re now being told that some dark chocolate, in moderation, is a healthy thing to eat. Nuts, especially almonds, which I happen to love, are also considered a healthy snack in spite of a fairly high calorie content.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are studies that attribute longevity to other factors such as happiness and social contacts. Having pleasant experiences on a regular basis, and being regularly engaged with others have shown to be important factors as well.

The impact that music and art have on our well-being is also being documented. There are psychological and emotional responses that we experience when we are enjoying a musical performance and when we are enjoying the beauty of a work of art. Since beauty is said to be in the eye of the beholder, we can assume that all forms of art qualify, even those that some of us might find annoying or distasteful.

Even our own level of conscientiousness can have an impact on our health; such as those who are always aware of the righteousness of the things they do to improve our communities or the world. They derive personal satisfaction from knowing that they are, even if in a small way, making a difference.

Of course, I’m always amused at the female centenarian who attributes her longevity to never having been married, or else drinking a glass of whiskey daily, or both.

All of these changing statics suggest that the science of longevity is a changing dynamic. Sometimes we simply attribute a person’s long life to “good genes.” On the other hand, most of us are not just looking for some extra years, but we’re really looking for more healthy and active years in which to continue to enjoy life.

So what’s a person to do? Should we all be drinking more coffee while also enjoying some dark chocolate?

Or should we be drinking some red wine while we’re visiting the art gallery?

Probably, we should be just using some common sense in how we go about living our lives. There are some really basic elements that contribute to a healthy life style and we can all figure out how to incorporate some of them into our lives.

Food, of course, is at the top, we just need to eat healthier things and less of them. The Mediterranean diet is a wonderful all around guide to healthy eating; it’s all the foods that most of us like anyway. The rest of it, like exercising on a regular basis, is something we all need to figure out. You could visit a gym, or you can just walk every day with a friend and keep yourself healthy that way.

The wine, and chocolate and coffee are all the extras that we can enjoy while getting something beneficial as well.

Of course, we all live in a world that is seething with situations that can cause angst in most of us; we just need to figure out how to live with what’s going on without stressing about it. In the end, we are the masters and mistresses of our own lives. We can make them better and live longer to boot.

You may reach the writer at:

F.carrano@att.net

Connecticut Media Group