Between 1946 and 1964, a large group of people were born in the United States. The oldest of these baby boomers, as they’re called, will turn 65 in 2011. If that fact brings to mind mobs of frail, crotchety people, think again.

Research suggests that our behaviors before the age of fifty affect our physical and mental health in old age. Of course, the challenges of aging won't disappear. But boomers who exercise regularly, eat healthfully, stay active mentally, and tackle emotional problems soundly can look forward to years of activity and pleasure.