COLLINS: Should we have dogs?
WEIL: I can't imagine life without dogs. It doesn't have to be dogs. There's very interesting medical research showing that people who have pets recover faster from illness. They get out of the hospital faster if they have surgery. So I think there's a lot of benefits to being involved with, you know, other things than yourself.
COLLINS: Anything else?
WEIL: Well, I think aside from eating right, you want to maintain physical activity throughout life. And that doesn't mean you have to run marathons, or go to aerobics classes. Walking is a perfectly good physical activity if you do enough of it regularly enough. You want to learn some method of stress management. You know, as I said, I like breathing exercises. But, you know, anything you can do. You want to really try to identify negative thought patterns that lead to negative behavior, and see how you can change them.
As everyone knows, I definitely recommend living with companion animals. And what we do together in meditation class - in the "insight meditation" part of class - is to identify negative thought patterns and work skillfully to change them.
I recommend clicking through and reading the whole article. It's good advice for everyone - regardless of age.