I'm 41 now, turning 42 this summer, and I'm in WAY better shape now than I was as a teenager or in college. Definitely healthy eating and exercise is crucial. I started my upward trend as I was graduating college - a roommate got me into ballroom dancing my last year, and I kept that up for nearly a decade. Competed at the collegiate and amateur levels - even made it to nationals once - sooo cool.
Then I got into rock climbing with work friends in my late 20's/early 30's. Then after my ballroom days started waning due to my partners all moving on with life, I took up figure skating in my 30's. I'm still figure skating now working on my single jumps. My goal is to get good enough to a least be able to do an Axel and a double jump or two. Granted, my recovery isn't as fast as it was in my 20's, but if I need to stretch 5 days a week vs 3 - so be it. Go in for regular massages to keep my muscles relaxed...well...okay, if you insist...
Most of my aches and pains come from my occasional spills on the ice - so I have my trusted chiropractor on speed dial to "snap" be back together.
Sometimes I think what happens when people get older is they completely forget to take care of themselves. The older we get, the more "maintenance" we need to keep running. In general, people seem to understand this concept when trying to keep their cars and other machines running -are diligent about changing oil, greasing the gears, taking them in for "check-ups". Same thing with their pets - if the vet says their cat needs a special diet or their dog needs more exercise - they move heaven and earth to make it happen for them. But when it comes to themselves - it's just "too hard". Why is that?
I have great role models in my grandmothers - one turned 100 last fall and still lives on her own - although she does have people stop by to help her with reading mail and cooking, the other one is turning 99 this fall (we're hoping she hits 100 too) - so I know I come from good gene stock - so I'm planning to keep going way past 100. There's just way too much world for me to explore before I leave this planet (unless it's leaving for a space mission to Mars), so I need to keep myself fit enough to enjoy the adventure.
I remembered someone posted an article about Ernestine Shepherd - a 70+ year old body builder, and found this current article about her. She started working out in her 50's and now in her 70's she looks awesome. Just shows, you are never too old to start doing something to improve your health. I sure hope I can look even half that good at her age! Enjoy the updated read if you are interested:http://abcnews.go.com/Health/mess-ernestine-shepherd-body-building-grandma-benches-150/story?id=10480184#.TybOCfn65Id