"The best foundation for excellence is to do your personal best," counseled Arnot. And personal best begins with being in the best possible physical condition, he said.
He discussed a series of tests that were created to determine a person's biological age. Physically active octogenarians tested as much as 25 or 30 years younger than their chronological age, while relatively young participants who lived sedentary lifestyles tested much older.
Arnot offered a few suggestions to turn back the clock:
Be an optimist. "Optimism isn't just annoying people singing 'Zippity Do Da' in a the room next to us," said Arnot. "It's much more scientific than that. A study of college students found that optimists had grade point averages one point higher than pessimists."
He suggested bringing optimism into the workplace, noting, "That sense that things can't change, can't get better, leads to industrial accidents."
Be spiritual. Whatever your religion, Arnot said people with a strong spiritual belief tend to live longer lives than those without such beliefs.
Participate in a sport you find fun. "Exercise does more to impact morbidity and mortality rates" than just about anything else, said Arnot.
Pump iron. As people age, they lose muscle mass, which in turn causes slowing of the metabolism. Whatever your age, you can build muscle mass and help reverse that lose, said Arnot.
Eat young. Obesity "is an epidemic of untold proportions," said Arnot. "There are 12 and 13 year olds out there with adult-onset diabetes." Proper eating habits can lower cholesterol and blood pressure and bring diabetes under control.
Have long-term goals. People with long-term goals tend to have a brighter outlook on life.