VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – A lot more of us are living longer, but if you want to live well and happily into your 90′s, a healthy lifestyle, adaptable personality and luck are essential.

UBC Geriatrician Dr Larry Dian says you need to make adjustments to your lifestyle early on while you’re body is still able to adapt. He says those adjustments should happen between the ages 50 and 75, with extra emphasis on resistance training.

“The reason you exercise in your 60′s and 70′s is mostly for that when you’re 80 or 90, you’ll be in good shape and be able to continue to exercise,” believes Dian. “The most important thing is having some flexibility, because if you don’t die from something else like cancer or Alzheimer’s or some awful disease, what you’re likely to do then is have poor balance and fall.”

He says people do have good reasons for not exercising, including arthritis, shortness of breath or lack of access to a community centre. But Dian says the trick is to be adaptable.

“The key contribution or key factor to successful aging is an adaptable personality. Can you teach an old dog new tricks?”

He says a recent study has shown exercise can also help improve your memory.

Dian’s presentation Successful Aging – Is 90 the New 80 is this Wednesday afternoon at VanDusen Gardens.