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Taking the right steps to live longer and healthier

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Betty White turned 96 this year and claims that her long-term good health is the result of hot dogs and vodka, not necessarily in that order!

Well, some people's genes are programmed to defy the odds (never worth betting on) -- either that or Betty's just a great comic who's not afraid of a politically incorrect joke (that's the smart bet)!

You may have a sense of humor, too, but although laughter is good for the heart, soul and brain, it's essential to make healthful choices if you want to forge a reliably healthy, longer life and a younger RealAge. Smart nutrition is essential (no nitrate- and nitrite-packed processed meats like hot dogs). But to really live well longer, you have to stir in a healthy exercise routine.

Case in point: A new study from the University of Buffalo in New York has found that walking, the most common form of physical activity in older women (no surprise), is especially heart-loving. And, say the researchers, more is better: "Higher levels of recreational physical activity, including walking, are associated with significantly reduced heart failure risk ..."

So if your days of 5K runs are behind you, don't fret. You (and this goes for guys, too!) can still get exercise's heart-healthy benefits with 10,000 steps three or four times weekly -- or aim for whatever you can do. Betty's routine: "I have a two-story house and a very bad memory, so I'm up and down those stairs." In short, establish an exercise routine you can stick with, but do skip the well-marinated hot dogs!

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(c) 2018 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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