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Anyone know any over-80's who work out and stay healthy?
Old 08-04-2016, 05:04 PM   #1
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Anyone know any over-80's who work out and stay healthy?

Recent threads about health and aging got me thinking.

Some of us hope that regular exercise and dietary restrictions will help put off the ravages of age. Some people evidently invest a lot of time, effort and willpower into said exercise and restrictions.

While I'm sure everyone can point to people who are over 80 and still going strong, can anyone point to someone in that age group who attributes their health at an advanced age to exercise and diet? I don't mean just the occasional golf game, but regular workouts and such.

I know a standard "joke" among very old people is to attribute their longevity to lots of smoking and drinking. I'm looking for evidence of people who actually claim to have beat the odds through exercise and diet.

(Why do I feel like one of those FB memes where the sad-faced kid, or dog, or old person says, "I bet I don't even get one like."?_
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Old 08-04-2016, 05:16 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
...
While I'm sure everyone can point to people who are over 80 and still going strong, can anyone point to someone in that age group who attributes their health at an advanced age to exercise and diet? I don't mean just the occasional golf game, but regular workouts and such.

I know a standard "joke" among very old people is to attribute their longevity to lots of smoking and drinking. I'm looking for evidence of people who actually claim to have beat the odds through exercise and diet.

...
My inlaws both fit in this category, albeit with little real attention to diet except for moderation. He regularly played tennis 3-4 days a week past 85--even if snow shovel was required prior to the first serve. She has been walking a mile (I think that distance) most every morning at the gym for many years (after either: Breast CA surgery, bilateral knees, or the hip, not sure which milestone). Currently both very healthy, post-85, pre-90.

BUT, they also drink every evening. She has very long-lived family (granting the evidence is weak still here), and he avoided the heart issues that felled his brothers and male ancestors--which was likely attributable to luck and/or exercise.

OTOH, we know healthy people older than them who have done very little exercise....

E.T.A. red section.
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Old 08-04-2016, 05:26 PM   #3
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My Mom exercised and ate a very healthy diet. She was healthy but from 78-89 had 3 bouts of different kinds of cancer. Recovered and got healthy between except for the last round which killed her. Her sister did neither, is overweight and still alive living alone at 91 and healthy. My FIL hiked up the mountain behind his house everyday, ate healthy, etc and died of a massive heart attack at home right before turning 91.
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Old 08-04-2016, 05:28 PM   #4
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I was kayaking with an acquaintance last week and joked that I didn't want to be lifting a kayak onto the roof when I was 80. He said, "Why not? I'm 80." I guess it is the miles not the years.
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Old 08-04-2016, 05:37 PM   #5
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During the summers I live in my motorhome in the North Carolina mountains and frequently go dancing (flatfooting, clogging, very aerobic dancing) at the Altapass Orchard near Spruce Pine, NC on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Altapass is a "Fountain of Youth." There are many people dancing there (very aerobic clogging and flatfooting) who are in their 80s and 90s. I think most of them have danced all their lives. I don't know what they eat but they are all pretty thin and look to be in great shape. I aspire to be just like them in my 90s.

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Old 08-04-2016, 05:52 PM   #6
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There is a couple we know . The women is 88 and exercises daily . She bikes to water aerobics several times a week . They also dance weekly . She is trim and looks healthy despite having a recent knee implant .In Florida it is common to see 80 year old people exercising . I think it is a combination of good weather and everybody does it.
On the other end of the spectrum is my Mom who did very little in the way of exercising but lived to be 99 and was mobile to the end .
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Old 08-04-2016, 06:10 PM   #7
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I know many +80 year olds that attribute their health to exercise.

We're both ambassadors for the sport of pickleball and I know of dozens of people in the 80+ bracket that play competitively. Most come from a tennis or raquetball background and play sometimes 6x/week for 2 hours per session.

The oldest player that I know of is 94 and she plays just about every day and is constantly lobbying her local community government to add more pickleball courts.

The oldest player in our own club is 92. He stopped playing for awhile and we were concerned that he was slowing down. Turns out he had a new girlfriend who didn't play and she was annoyed that he was gone so much... the girlfriend is gone (don't know what happened) and he's back on the courts.
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Old 08-04-2016, 06:16 PM   #8
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My mom is 87. While not working out in the strictest sense, she lives in a house with three floors and climbs those stairs 6-8 times a day. She also does a lot of stuff that she won't let her housekeeper do: beds, laundry etc., does her own food shopping.

She eats out most nights, drinks Manhattans and Martinis every night and refuses to eat vegetables or fruit.

Sadly, I got Dad's genes.....she's in better shape than I am and sharp as a tack to boot.
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Anyone know any over-80's who work out and stay healthy?
Old 08-04-2016, 06:34 PM   #9
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Anyone know any over-80's who work out and stay healthy?

Sure, there are quite a few at my gym. Here's a photo of two of my over-80 gym friends doing their usual half hour on the elliptical trainer, and there are many more. They are looking pretty good, aren't they! She was 79 or 80 when the photo was taken, and he was several years older. This was taken 4 years ago, and both still attend regularly in their mid to late 80's and look about the same. I could only wish to look that good in my 80's!

There are fewer there that are over 90. I have a few over-90 gym friends but they didn't happen to be in any of my gym photos. They seem to spend more time sitting and talking than my friends in their 80's.

Every now and then one of my gym friends just disappears, and we hear through the grapevine that they expired. I don't know that they live any LONGER than couch potatos, but they are probably a lot more physically capable during their later years.
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Old 08-04-2016, 06:56 PM   #10
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I know many +80 year olds that attribute their health to exercise.
Attribute their good health to exercise or in good health because of and solely due to exercise? Different things. Of course people who are in good health will want to take credit for it. Like people with money or other things other people don't have. I do good things therefore I am good. Then there's the person above who said something about someone who had cancer and bilateral knee surgery but she's healthy? Clearly exercise did not prevent and in the case of the knees may have caused bad health.

It's not the exercise that is keeping them healthy. They are simply healthy enough to keep exercising
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Old 08-05-2016, 05:48 AM   #11
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There are quite a few 80+ exercisers at my gym and we had an 82 year old join us on a bike trip in Europe a few years ago. Never asked them if they attributed their health to exercise but I would guess they feel it is helpful.
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Old 08-05-2016, 07:06 AM   #12
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Don't know if she'd attribute it to exercise but we have a friend who's 87 and, goes to Y 3-4x a week, and is the most active and mentally engaged person we know over 70. She's really quite the hoot. Very civically engaged in philanthropy, loves a glass of wine with dinner and has a group of ladies she goes out to a dinner and movie with every week. She survived breast cancer 12 years ago. Sort of our hero.
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Old 08-05-2016, 07:21 AM   #13
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I have a number of friends in their eighties and a couple in their nineties that are in 'excellent' condition, but their exercise is remaining active. Whether it's volunteering, working, or just doing stuff, they are exercising daily and eat and drink reasonably. None of them use 'machines' or scheduled periods to exercise.
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Old 08-05-2016, 07:30 AM   #14
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MIL is 87 and works out at the gym 3 days a week and goes for 2 mile walks a few times a week.


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Old 08-05-2016, 08:09 AM   #15
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MY ex-SO's mother is 82 and an exercise addict. She kayaks for hours, bikes for miles, does long distance swims, etc. After her first hubby passed away from COPD a few years ago, she married her high school class president (also 82) who is also an exercise addict. He lifts weights and does a huge workout daily, including 100 pushups (tracks it all on a spreadsheet), rides a bike, walks, etc.

He's had more of an influence on her diet. He eats oatmeal (to which he adds fruit, etc.) once or twice a day, huge salads, etc. Neither one drinks.

I went to their wedding a few years ago. I was telling some friends about these two 80-year-olds getting married...and the response always was, "Did they meet in the nursing home?" No, they both had their own homes back then. He has since sold his and moved into hers. They are super-active, driving around the country to do local bicycling trips, driving from Ohio to the FL Keys (taking his weight bench and weights along plus 2 bikes and 2 kayaks) for a 2-3 month winter stay, etc.

Yes, they tire out more quickly and take naps, but they are more active than most people I know, no matter what age.

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Old 08-05-2016, 08:52 AM   #16
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I have no scientific basis for this, but I strongly believe genetics plays the major role (80% at least) in long term health and longevity. Exercise and healthy eating help the remaining 20%.
Or, as another poster commented, maybe it's because of good genes that people are able to continue exercising in the later years.
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Old 08-05-2016, 09:19 AM   #17
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I imagine people who like working out will want to continue it as long as they can. And the Silver Sneaker program seems quite popular.

It will be interesting to see how the boomer and younger generation continue working out as they age. I don't think most 80+ year olds were into regular fitness routines, whether running, weights, etc. (I know Jack Lalanne was the guru and remember old TV sitcoms of women standing on vibrating machines with a belt around their waist trying to reduce), but now you see a gym or personal trainer studio and runners and bikers everywhere. So I would expect fitness routines to continue to be important to the people who use them regularly.
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Old 08-05-2016, 09:39 AM   #18
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Sure. An 80-year-old friend of mine biked 100 miles the other day. He rode his bike over 5000 miles last year. He was diagnosed with leukemia a few years ago, but you wouldn't know it looking at him now.
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Old 08-05-2016, 09:42 AM   #19
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My DF was fishing and golfing regularly at 85. At 95 he was in assisted living and the one guy who was always at the morning workout session.

He'd never spend a dime on gyms or equipment, "just go for a walk".

I do believe his activity and longevity were connected.
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Old 08-05-2016, 09:43 AM   #20
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I know plenty of people who work out and are active and fit in their 80s and even 90s. And I know very fit people who died in their 60s. All anecdotal.


Here's a story I came across very recently:


Whitlock Wins Another World Record At Age 85 | Runner's World


This 85 year old has set age group records in the mile and half marathon so far this year.
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