I was just commenting to Terri that for me to take the best care of myself, I'm going to have to commit to being an athlete for life. If I take excellent care of myself I do really well, but, as I get older, I just don't have that much room to slack off like some do (who are actually quite few we're learning).
There's an article in the Chron today about older athletes.
Which talks about how the age that you'll see people competing in the Olympics is shifting up. (The swimmer Dara Torres being a great example.) I bet there will come a day when Dara Torres current age (41) is no big deal at all.
Hopefully this phenomena will have an influence on current standards like how to calculate your max heart rate. Right now, it's 220-yourage which I know isn't accurate for me as I've pushed my heart rate that high (174 - and know I could go higher as I train with a heart rate monitor - which is an excellent training tool). While there are other alternate calculations for fit people I've found that I can get a good approximation by using my "real age" which last time I checked was about 9 years younger which for me puts my MHR at 183 which is probably more correct. I also like the mental advantage I get by thinking of myself as 37. Until someone younger kicks my butt at something. :)