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Fountain of Youth: October 16, 2011

It’s an age-old quest, to find the fountain of youth, a secret solution to a long and healthy life.

“We all want a pill to make us better,” says Dr. Sal Lacagnina, Vice President of Health and Wellness for Lee Memorial Health System.

In the real world, the key to unlocking a long lease on life is not so mysterious.

“I tell people, learn how to eat healthy and make sure that you take at least 30 minutes a day to exercise. For me those two things are the foundation for healthy living,” says Dr. Lacagnina.

A healthy lifestyle does more than slow the aging process. It hampers chronic diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis. Things we accept as part of growing old.

Wanda Nelson is fighting back against father time.

“After you exercise you kind of get a high, but overall I think my endurance level, my ability to function is much better.”

Giving your body the proper fuel is the other half of the dynamic duo.

“Eat more fruits and vegetables, you know the recommendation is generally 5 to 9 servings a day. Stay away from meats as much as you can,” says Dr. Lacagnina.

By changing her habits, Wanda was able to turn back time on her osteoporosis, strengthening her bones through exercise.

“This past June my bone density was normal.”

So there is no magic pill or secret spell. The key to healthy living is a good diet and regular exercise.

“If you can do those two things I think you’ve created a fountain of youth for yourself and undoubtedly you will live a healthier longer life by doing that,” says Dr. Lacagnina.