1. Get in step.
For Dr. Michael Roizen, author of The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow, a good place to start on the long road is walking 10,000 steps every day, or the step equivalents — i.e., one minute of activity being equal to 100 steps.
“This can include riding a bike or carrying groceries, gardening, playing ping-pong, and playing with the grandkids — they all count.”
2. Make a splash.
“Swimmers have about half the risk of death compared with inactive people," the folks at the CDC point out. And it’s easy to understand why, as swimming is great for the heart and lungs, can help burn calories, tone muscles and lower blood pressure, as well as improve your mood and mental state.
3. Squat down.
Strength training is important to overall health. But research has shown a link between strong leg muscles and a longer life span. And per fitness guru Denise Austin, the best exercise for the legs is squats.
“They strengthen the major muscles of the lower body we need to keep strong,” she says, “and also protect two joints we need help with — our knees and our hips.”
4. Try tai chi.
Combining both deep breathing and slowing movements, this ancient Chinese practice can help add years to your life. As the folks at the U.K.’s National Health Service explain, it can “reduce stress, improve posture, balance and general mobility, and increase muscle strength in the legs.”
5. Tennis, anyone?
According to a recent study, any sport involving a partner or a team (including tennis, badminton or soccer) can be beneficial. Says study co-author Dr. James O’Keefe, a cardiologist at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Missouri, “Our social connections are probably the single most important feature of living a long, healthy, happy life.”