The No.1 driver in longevity isn't how heavy you are. It’s how fit you are. You’re better off being fat—and a little fit—than being skinny and out of shape. When researchers looked around the world at people who live to 100, in places like Sardinia, Okinawa and Costa Rica, they found that centenarians had three things in common.

First, they were physically fit. Second, they ate whole foods. Real foods. And third was their social structure, their relationships. I met a lot of great friends while playing water polo and football at Harvard. It was a different level of intensity, and I learned much about competition—but now we are on a different playing field. When I speak with teammates, I hear their biggest fear about aging is getting Alzheimer’s. The best way to avoid memory loss is to build new neuron bridges in the brain. And you can’t build those just by doing crossword puzzles. What really challenges you is coordinated physical activity. My thrill in life is basketball. I still play basketball on Saturday mornings with a bunch of my pals. But you can play any competitive sport you want. Going out and competing is healthy for your brain, and it’s also something you can look forward to doing with your friends. Speaking of friends, if the people in your life are getting out of shape and gaining weight, you will too.

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If the people in your life are getting fit and losing weight, you will too. So either change your friends or change what your friends are doing. It’s up to you. That’s your manly duty. So, how do you stay fit at any age? Let’s go through the different decades.

The Age Brackets:

 

Twenties

Thirties

Forties

Fifties and Beyond
 

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Men in Their 20s

Twentysomethings' testosterone levels are high, so you have a big desire to be sexually intimate and a need to build muscle mass. You should look like you’re in your 20s. Place more emphasis on muscle-building activities. You should be working out every other day, building up your core, your arms, and your legs. The one activity you should definitely be doing is pull-ups. You know why I love pull-ups? Because they force you to lift your own body weight. So when you’re tempted to eat something bad, you’re thinking in the back of your mind, “If I eat that, I have to lift that the next day.” You know you’re fit if you can lift your own body weight at least 10 times—that’s the bare minimum.

Check Yourself

No. of Push-Ups you should be able to do: More than 35 No. of sit-ups you should be able to do: More than 45 Health Screenings you should be getting: - Tetanus vaccine (every 10 years) - Influenza vaccine (every year) - Height, weight, waist, and BMI (every year) - Blood pressure (every year) - Oral exam (every year) - HPV vaccine (before 26) The Age Brackets:

 

 

Thirties

Forties

Fifties and Beyond
 

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Men in Their 30s

Once you hit your 30s, you can start to move away from muscle-building activities a little bit and focus more on fi tness. Young guys are more able to move around, but thirtysomethings are a little stiffer and start putting on more weight. So now you have to worry about not burning as many calories. Hopefully you have a job, you probably have a family, and those things may slow down your ability to work out and play sports with your friends. So there’s a trade-off : a little more flexibility training but fewer muscle-building training sessions.

Check Yourself

No. of Push-Ups you should be able to do: 25-29 No. of sit-ups you should be able to do: 30-34 Health Screenings you should be getting: - Cholesterol (every 5 years) - Thyroid stimulating hormone (every other year) - Eye exam (every two years) The Age Brackets:

 

 

Twenties

Forties

Fifties and Beyond
 

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Men in Their 40s

By the time you’re in your 40s, it all becomes about your body’s pliancy. Once you lose the ability to stay flexible and balanced, you start to develop frailty—and frailty is what really hurts us when we get older. So I would spend more time doing yoga or balance activities, like doing exercises with your eyes closed. To improve your balance, do this simple test. Stand up straight with your armsfolded across your chest, close your eyes, and raise one foot, bending the knee at a 45-degree angle. Set a goal balancing for 15 seconds.

Check Yourself

No. of Push-Ups you should be able to do: 20–24 No. of sit-ups you should be able to do: 25–29 Health Screenings you should be getting: - Prostate exam (every year) - Skin cancer exam (every year) The Age Brackets:

 

 

Twenties

Thirties

Fifties and Beyond
 

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Men in Their 50s and Beyond

The big epiphany—and this is going to blow your mind—is that the fitness level of someone who is 17 years of age is no different from someone who is 65 years of age. You can jump higher, and you’re a lot stronger at your peak age (which is 27), but your fitness level and endurance ability at 17 and 65 are the same. So you have to be able to stay physically active throughout your life. Guys past the age of 50 should focus more on endurance activities as they get older—things like biking, running, the elliptical if you have weak knees, and swimming. No. of push-ups you should be able to do: In your 50s: 15–19 In your 60s: 10–14 In your 70s: 6–9 In your 80s: 3–5 In your 90s: 1–3 No. of sit-ups you should be able to do: In your 50s: 20–24 In your 60s: 15–19 In your 70s: 10–14 In your 80s: 6–9 In your 90s: 2–5 Health Screenings you should be getting:: In your 50s: - Pneumovax vaccine (repeat at 65) - Colonoscopy (every 10 years) In your 60s: - Shingles vaccine - Hearing exam (every year) - Rectal exam (every year) The Age Brackets:

 

 

Twenties

Thirties

Forties