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Thirty-two years before the Final Five dazzled us at the Rio Olympics, Mary Lou Retton was America’s golden girl. When she was only 16, she became the first U.S. female gymnast to win the all-around gold medal.

Retton is now married and the mother of four daughters. She’s also the driving force behind Nature’s Bounty’s #dearfutureme campaign, which encourages people to make healthy choices that will allow them to live their best lives.

Retton’s top advice can be broken down into four simple tips that anyone can implement, regardless of age.


RELATED: These 8 Olympians and Paralympians have some amazing advice on how to stay focused and achieve goals

1. Exercise

Retton: “You have to have an exercise program, even if it’s out there walking if you’re just beginning — get out there and get moving.”

If you’d like to start working out, here are eight simple steps to forming an exercise routine. (Just be sure to check with your doctor before doing anything strenuous!)

2. Eat well

Retton: “I try to eat God’s foods… nothing processed, good lean protein, vegetables.”

She also said she hates to think of eating well as a “diet.” Instead, it’s a lifestyle and a conscious commitment to good health.

RELATED: If you’re ready to start eating healthy, here are the answers to 5 questions you may be afraid to ask

3. Take your vitamins

Retton: “You gotta take your vitamins. I did as an athlete — vitamins and supplements were a very big part of it.”

Vitamins are also what Retton credits with keeping her healthy beyond her gymnastics career.

4. Stretch

Retton: “For those people out there who despise stretching, I did too! I hated it! But… it’s really important, especially as we age. You don’t want to pull these muscles.”

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