Live to Be Healthy and Active at 100

We’ve shared a lot of health tips on this show that can help you live to be 100. You don’t just want to live to be 100 – you want to be a healthy, active 100, able to live independently and take care of yourself for as long as possible. In order to reach that goal, you need to do one thing throughout your life: Get regular exercise!

Dr. Mark Lachs is the head of geriatrics at Cornell University. He says that the average person achieves peak muscle strength between age 20 and 30, but after that, your muscle strength slowly declines – even if you don’t notice at first. Eventually you’ll experience the telltale signs of age-related muscle weakness, like falling, and difficulty with everyday tasks, like getting up from a chair, or climbing in and out of the bathtub.

Most people don’t become incapacitated by lost muscle strength until they’re 80 or 90, when they begin to need a cane, a walker or a wheelchair. The good news is: The more exercise you get throughout your life, the older you’ll be when you start to become incapacitated. In fact, doing weight training and resistance training at any age can boost your muscle strength and make it less likely you’ll need assistance as you age. For example, studies show that people who begin a daily walking program at 45 and keep at it, can stay mobile well into their 90s. However, those who become couch potatoes at 45 - and stay that way - can start to become immobile and unable to live independently by age 60. The moral of the story: Get up off your couch and get moving!

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