Q.  Somewhere I picked up the idea that those who live a more disciplined life are more likely to live longer than say a free spirit who is never sure what’s happening next. Is that true?

A. I have not seen any research on this specific question so this is my brain’s opinion. It would partly depend on your definitions for the words "disciplined" and "free spirit." The brain and body function more efficiently in balance and that is typically more likely to be achieved with some regularity for sleeping and eating and exercising. Living a Longevity Lifestyle also means that you make time for play and relaxation, you are able to be flexible (e.g., you’re traveling and need to find alternative ways to do your physical activities and exercises, you are in a location where available food choices differ from what you are accustomed to at home). An extremely rigid schedule and lifestyle might not build in components such as humor, relaxation, spontaneity, and having fun in life—and the brain is much more likely to continue doing something when it enjoys the activity. On the other hand, a completely free-spirited lifestyle might fail to build in components that would help to keep the brain and body in balance (e.g., regular meals with good quality foods and appropriate nutrition, physical and mental exercise, plenty of water as one’s beverage of choice, gratitude and spirituality—the spirit in which you live life, sufficient sleep for your brain).

Living a long time with good mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health generally requires the creation of a longevity lifestyle that probably falls somewhere between the extremes of rigidity and free-wheeling.