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It’s tempting sometimes to just sit back as you age, relying onthe things you already know, the routines of your life, the habitsyou’ve formed over the years.

But of course there’s a whole world out there, waiting for youto discover it, no matter your age. Here are three things that canhelp you stay peaceful, healthy and connected to family andfriends.

1. Nature walks

Now you might not think about the simple act of walking when youconsider new skills. But it can be, depending on where you go. Trygoing for a nature walk, among the trees, the grass, the bushes.It’ll make you feel more alive, according to a recent study in theJournal of Environmental Psychology.

“Nature is fuel for the soul. Often when we feel depleted wereach for a cup of coffee, but research suggests a better way toget energized is to connect with nature,” says University ofRochester psychology professor Richard Ryan, the study author, in areport on the University’s website.

He also lists two other benefits of vitality-boosting naturewalks:

* People who take them have more energy.

* They are more resilient to physical illness.

More good news, too – you don’t have to spend all day out amongthe flora and the fauna. Just spending 20 minutes walking in thosenatural settings can “significantly boost vitality levels,” Ryansays.

2. Take a dip

Want to try something a bit more aerobic than a stroll in theforest? Try swimming. It’s the third most popular sports activityin the United States. Don’t want to swim? Try water aerobics orsimply walking in water. The resistance of the water makes walkinga great workout. Aerobic exercise like swimming can improve thehealth of people with some chronic diseases, like heart disease anddiabetes.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that swimmers haveabout half the risk of death compared with inactive people. Hereare other ways that water workouts can help:

* Arthritis sufferers can get more use out of their affectedjoints. People with rheumatoid arthritis report more healthimprovements than with other activities.

* It improves your mood.

* It decreases anxiety and helps with depression in people withfibromyalgia.

3. Stay connected online

How about keeping in touch with a session at your computer? Youwon’t be alone there either – people age 50 and older are flockingto social networking sites like Facebook. Social networking use bythose over 50 more than doubled from 22 percent in April 2009, to42 percent in May 2010, the Pew Research Center reports.

The whole computer /social networking thing can be intimidating,for sure. But it’s like the walking advice: you have to begin witha single step. Take a class or ask a teenager for assistance.

In fact, many seniors get advice from their children orgrandchildren on what to do next. This is a good way to interactwith the younger generation, because they are very informed aboutsocial networking and technology. And you can use your new-foundskills to stay in touch with family and friends who live far awaywith Facebook, Skype and e-mail. Share daily news, photos andwedding announcements, all electronically. Staying connected hasserious health benefits, too. People with active social lives andsupport systems enjoy a sense of well-being, are less likely todevelop dementia, live a more active, pain-free life, and justplain live longer.

In addition to the above three tips, another key activity toliving well is staying proactive with your health care by gettingregular preventive health screenings that can help determine yourrisk for disease. For example, blood from a simple finger prick canbe screened to quickly assess your risk for diabetes and highcholesterol. And, non-invasive vascular screenings, such as acarotid artery screenings and peripheral arterial diseasescreenings can help significantly reduce heart disease and stroke risks. Byfinding these silent conditions early, it can help you and yourdoctor take preventive action before a serious health event occurs.And, as an added benefit to your health and well-being, make sureto stay on top of the latest health news and subscribe to the freeLife Line Screening E-Newsletter to get up-to-date news andinformation sent directly to your e-mail inbox. Also, visit theLife Line Screeningblog.

For more information on preventive health screenings, call (866)346-5433.