Age is No Excuse: “Fit at 102”

My running inspiration Jean posted about exercise regimens in middle age and their benefits, but according to an article from the Washington Post, it is never too late to start working out.

Take Ray Clark, currently 102 years old, who began exercising at the age of 98 after his wife of 67 years passed away. Yet the National Institute on Aging reports that “only 11 percent of people 85 and older engage in any regular exercise, despite clear evidence that the vast majority could work out safely, particularly if shown how. Fewer than 15 percent of people 65 and older do any regular strength training” – when strength training can be a particularly beneficial counter to the decline in muscle mass as we age.

Mr. Clark’s exercise regimen is described below:

To watch Clark move around the gym during his weekly half-hour workout is to understand what is possible for the oldest members of society, as well as the adaptations that must be made for them.

He warms up for 3 minutes 30 seconds on a rowing machine, not a treadmill, because it works both his upper and lower body. He does 10 reps with 60 pounds on the “pullover” machine, catches and hoists the bouncing kettle bells, then moves 60 pounds 10 times on the “seated row” apparatus. His pushups are done leaning against the steel bar of a weightlifting rack. Then he scoots part way under the bar and does a version of a pull-up.

Any sort of exercise regimen should be discussed with a physician and preferably a certified trainer, but to read Mr. Clark’s full story, visit the Washington Post article here.

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