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50+: Live Better, Longer

Rolling Stones: How They Keep Rockin'

Are there health secrets that let these aging rock stars strut across stages year after year?
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How Mick Starts It Up

One of the benefits of being in a famous rock band is you can keep a personal trainer on hand as you tour. Jagger's trainer is Torje Eike, a Norwegian whose previous clients include Olympic athletes, national soccer teams, and former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell.

Before a tour, Jagger runs eight miles a day, swims, kickboxes, and works out every other day in the gym, according to a report in the Daily Express. Meanwhile, Eike keeps Jagger on a diet low in fat and high in whole grains. (During the tour, the Stones entourage includes more trainers, dietitians, masseurs, and a physiotherapist, the Daily Express reports.)

Jagger told the Daily Express he reformed himself about 15 years ago and has given up almost all alcohol. But for the other Stones -- the ones who aren't constantly sprinting across the stage -- it's a different story.

Guitarist Keith Richards, 62, reportedly kicked his heroin habit in the 1970s, but still smokes and drinks up a storm. Just last year he was voted "rock's biggest hell-raiser" by the VH1 music channel.

Relatively little is known about the condition of the oldest Stone, 64-year-old drummer Charlie Watts. But the youngest, 58-year-old guitarist Ron Woods, is likely closest to the cliff's edge. Just last year he announced that he had just played his first Stones show while sober.

Woods sidelines as a painter; one of his paintings recently sold for over $1 million. His passion for painting -- as well as his desire to stay with the Stones -- has kept him from succumbing to alcohol, according to a report in the British newspaper, the Daily Mail.

"They have an extraordinary talent, and that helps them weather the consequences of their behavior better than the average person," says Paul Mulhausen, MD, a geriatrician at the University of Iowa's medical school.

Why They Still Rock

A generation ago, a man in his mid-60s was an old man. Today, he's part of a group that gerontologists call the "young old." They're the beneficiaries of new lifestyle habits, new advances in health care, and new expectations.

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