From Bob Irish, editor, Retirement Insider: What if your doctor could detect no measurable difference between you and someone 25 years younger than you? What if the only difference was the year you were born? It sounds like a fantasy, but that’s exactly what scientists discovered when they tested 126 cyclists in England.

The cyclists—men and women—ranged from 55 to 75 years old. And, no, they weren’t retired Tour de France athletes. Just folks who rode regularly.

Participants were given a battery of mental and physical tests. Memory, cognition, balance, maximal oxygen consumption, body composition, endocrine and metabolic function, neuromuscular, cardiopulmonary… You name it, the researchers measured it. What they were looking for was data to show how abilities gradually decline with age. They failed.

The group as a whole had test scores more similar to those of younger adults than to people their own age. But the real surprise came when researchers compared the cyclists to each other. They couldn’t tell them apart based on test scores alone. By nearly every measure, the older cyclists were indistinguishable from the younger cyclists.

So how is it possible for a 75-year-old to test the same as a 55-year-old? What is keeping all of these cyclists young? The scientists, after controlling for all variables, boiled it down to one factor—regular physical activity. That’s your fountain of youth. And the key to increasing your “healthspan.”

Take a look at the chart below…

Reeves’ Note: In the January issue of Retirement Insider, Bob recommends his favorite, scientifically proven method for extending your “healthspan” to match your lifespan.

Retirement Insider is monthly publication dedicated to helping our subscribers maximize their retirement years. It’s an added bonus subscription to all PBL Gold-level subscribers (and above). Subscribers can click here to read the January issue.