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    KEEP YOUR MUSCLE---Getting softer as you get older is not an inevitable part of aging. Although gradual muscle loss is a natural part of the aging process starting at about middle age, it's not something you have to accept. Research shows that reguler exercise, and particularly strength training, helps to halt age-related muscle loss in both men and women and helps them maintain their strength late in life.

    FRIEND INDEED---Here's an easy way to improve this wewekend: make a date to get together with your favorite friend. Not only are friends good for your mental well-being, but they also may improve your physical health profile, too. In a study of people with hypertension, the people who had the fewest friends and family members in their social circle had the highest blood pressure readings.

    KING ME---If you take up checkers, chess, or Parcheesi, your mind may be sharper in your golden years. Participation in leisure activities appears to be one of many factors affecting the risk of dememtia. A recent study revealed that people who frequently played board games in their leisure time had a reduced risk of developing dementia. Other mind-preserving leisure activities included playing a musical instsrument, reading, and dancing.