If you’ve made it to 75, you may think: What harm can a little ice cream, TV-watching and smoking do? But if you want to live longer than your peers, it’s essential to live healthfully—even if you’ve never been big on these habits before. Why? A recent study published in the British Medical Journal showed that seniors can add an average of 5.4 years to their lives if they live healthfully after age 75. Of the factors that tipped the balance, physical activity was among the most influential. Participants who regularly swam, walked, or did gymnastics after age 75 lived two years longer than peers who did not. Smoking was a major issue too: People who smoked after 75 lived one year less than non-smokers. Just goes to show: It’s never too late to quit.
Want more surprising info about growing older? Here are five fascinating facts.