We aimed to examine the temporal association between physical activity and successful aging. The analyses involved 1,584 adults aged 49 + years living west of Sydney (Australia), who did not have cancer, coronary artery disease and stroke at baseline and who were followed over 10 years. Participants provided information on the performance of moderate or vigorous activities and walking exercise and this was used to determine total metabolic equivalents (METs) minutes of activity per week. Successful aging status was determined through interviewer-administered questionnaire and was classified as the absence of: depressive symptoms, disability, cognitive impairment, respiratory symptoms and systemic conditions (e.g. cancer, coronary artery disease). 249 (15.7%) participants (mean age 59.9 ± 6.1) had aged successfully 10 years later. After multivariable adjustment; older adults in the highest level of total physical activity (≥5000 MET minutes/week; n = 71) compared to those in the lowest level of total physical activity (<1000 MET minutes/week; n = 934) had 2-fold greater odds of aging successfully than normal aging, odds ratio, OR, 2.08 (95% confidence intervals, CI, 1.12–3.88). Older adults who engaged in high levels of total physical activity, well above the current recommended minimum level had a greater likelihood of aging successfully 10 years later.