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Things to Do Now to Guarantee a Healthy, Active Old Age

Not only do you want to avoid your kids putting you in a home at 70, but you’ll also you want to kick their butts at a game of HORSE like you do now. It’s not that hard to be so kickass when you’re old, says a new British study.

Researchers looked at 5,100 healthy British men and women from ages 42 to 63 to see how healthy they were after a 16-year follow-up. Participants engaging in four healthy lifestyle behaviors—particularly (surprise!) never smoking, drinking alcohol moderately, being physically active for at least 2½ hours a week, and eating fruits and vegetables daily—had 3.3 times greater odds of successfully aging compared to participants who engaged in no healthy lifestyle behaviors.

What’s considered “successfully aging?” You had to have good physical, mental, and lung health and be free of disability and chronic diseases like coronary artery disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. If you want to be able to play hoops or skydive with your grandkids in 40 years, try these simple tips now so you’re sharp and functional well into retirement.

End your workout with a sweat-soaked shirt

A high-intensity workout could cut your risk of metabolic syndrome—a combination of risk factors related to cardiovascular disease—by 35 to 50 percent. Also, a new study in Neurology shows that older people who still did heavy exercise, were competitive in sports, or just walked several times a week protected their brains’ white matter from shrinkage.

Bring a pillow to work

Don’t think of sleep as years taken away from your life. One 2011 study found that napping helped manage blood pressure in mentally stressed individuals. Catnaps could also make you smarter. A 2010 study showed that an afternoon nap helped college students retain information throughout the day, essentially keeping the part of your brain storing short-term memory refreshed. If you’re not getting enough shuteye at night, follow these 7 Steps to a Good Night’s Sleep.

Eat like the Greeks

A 2011 review from Italy and Greece found that people who followed a Mediterranean diet full of foods like vegetables, legumes, whole grains, olive oil, and fruit reduced their risk of conditions like insulin resistance and high blood pressure. Other studies have linked the diet to decreased risk of erectile dysfunction. Here’s how to add…

Read more: Today

 

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