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Guess which one is in their 90's...

Actually, several of the individuals in the photos to the left are in their nineties.

Living longer and better is becoming a choice today with easy accessibility to good nutrition, fitness, and the knowledge to apply them to one's lifestyle.

In 1900, approximately one in 100,000 Americans was 100 or more years old. By 2000, the number of centenarians had increased more than 10-fold to one in 8,000. Today, the ratio is even greater, and continues to increase. And for each of these centenarians, there are many people in their 70s, 80s and 90s who will follow, because they retain a level of vigor that defies all stereotypes of the elderly.

According to Rowe & Kahn, authors of "Successful Aging," genetics only accounts for 30 percent of one's ability to achieve longevity. The other 70% is our lifestyle.

70% of our own longevity and quality of life are our own choosing. How we live. How we eat.

Studies show that only 10 percent of people over 65 exercise regularly. That sedentary 90 percent are inviting early onslaughts of osteoporosis, atheroscherosis, depression and other health problems, leading to a loss of healthy years.

The idea that "the older you get, the sicker you get" is wrong, according to Dr. Thomas Perls of Living to 100. Further, Dr. Perls' Centenarian Study findings suggest that those who reach extreme old age do so precisely by avoiding ill health, rather than by enduring it.

Start where you are
It's never too late to change our health habits. Dr. Perls' studies show that adopting a healthy lifestyle can lengthen our lives and provide better quality of life.

Eating whole grains and lots of raw fruits and vegetables are a good start, as well as a fitness schedule that's not difficult to stick with. Walk, run, or workout with friends to make fitness a social event.

Keeping your joints healthy is imperative to staying young. When your joints fail, the rest of your health follows. Taking glucosamine daily can help keep your joints young and healthy.