A healthy heart in middle age can give us another five years of pretty good life, thanks. That’s the conclusion of researchers at Northwestern and Yale universities, who analyzed a study that followed nearly 26,000 U.S. adults for 40 years. HealthDay reports that the researchers found that people in optimal heart health in middle age lived an average of four years longer than their peers and almost five years longer free of chronic disease. Wait, there’s more. Heart healthy middle-agers spent a greater part of their golden years free of major diseases — including cancer, kidney disease, chronic lung disease and dementia. What to do? The researchers suggest replacing sugar-sweetened drinks with water, and walking for at least 30 minutes a day.