The evidence keeps flooding in: The more healthy things you do earlier in life, the more pay-off you get later in life.
And hey, millenials and Gen Xers and anyone under seniorhood, trust me on this: Even though it may not seem like it to you now, and even though most of you vow to never get or act as old as your parents, you will absolutely and totally and completely and undeniably eventually want to live as long as you can, so long as you stay healthy enough, of course. (You will also start to eat dinner earlier and earlier and go to bed when the sun is still up in the summer but that’s another story)
The thing is, though, maximizing the chances of a longer and healthier life is very much in your hands.
Now. When you can still do the things you should be doing.
So according to a study of just over 1000 Swedish men recently published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society, “lifestyle factors such as never smoking, maintaining a healthy diet, and not being obese at age 71 were associated with survival and independent aging at age 85 and older in men.”
In other words, men following a healthy lifestyle at age 71 (something most of them were very likely doing for decades before which is why they had never smoked, were not obese, and were eating a healthy diet, something that no one starts to do suddenly when they hit 65 or 70), were much more likely than guys who had not followed a similar path to live another couple of decades in good health.
Which is when you are most likely to be able to dance with your grand-daughter at her bat mitzvah or wedding or whatever she decides to do (or be) when she’s old enough, most likely to see your grandkids make you happy in ways you never imagined possible, most likely to feel that despite what you had thought in your insouciant twenties and thirties, you really don’t ever want to die before hitting 90 at least.