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The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter, Issue #339. Sprinting at 100.
January 15, 2023

Sprinting at 100

The hometown newspaper where I live used to insert a weekend Parade supplement every Sunday. A couple of years ago, the feature was about the lifestyles of people who are alive at 100 or more. The lady on the cover was Ida Keeling who at 100 years old still ran sprints in senior track meets.

Ida set the world’s record in the 100-meter dash (17.33 seconds) for women 100 to 104 years old. They say that after she set the record she dropped to the ground and started doing push-ups. She stood at 4 feet 6 inches tall, and, surprisingly, didn’t begin running until she was 67.

Ida passed away at 105. Few of us will achieve her excellence. But we can all learn from her experience that it’s never too late in life to begin a fitness lifestyle and improve.

Here are the ways the Parade experts said will increase longevity:

  • Eat less and don’t get fat
  • An adult beverage or two per day is okay, but don’t overdo it
  • People with religious faith tend to live longer
  • Cultivate friendships and avoid loneliness
  • Be of good cheer
  • Stimulate your brain by learning new things
  • Keep moving with regular exercise
  • Have a sense of purpose
  • Eat mostly a plant-based diet

Parade called them the “Secrets to Living to 100.”

Agreed. But there wasn’t much in Parade’s article that hadn’t already been said and underlined in books like Dan Buettner’s Blue Zones. Which details the lifestyles in certain places in the world where long lives are common. Even more important, Blue Zones are places where not only lifespans are longer, but where health-spans are longer, too. Jack LaLanne used to say that he didn’t care so much how long he lived; he cared more about how good he felt while he lived.

You can check yourself against the list of “secrets” to see how you stack up?

Personally, I would emphasize three things.

  • Keep moving. Regular exercise can be structured or not so structured. I prefer a fairly structured type, explained here. But either way, keep moving.
  • Don’t get overweight. There’s a saying: You see old people and you see fat people. But you don’t see many old, fat people. That’s true. My thoughts on healthful eating are here.
  • Retired or not, find something that makes you want to get out of bed in the morning — a passion. Find it and cultivate it.

Those are my own thoughts. Do those three things and I believe most of the other good habits will more easily fall into place.

For bodyweight only exercise ideas, go here.

Stay healthy. Stay fit.


Senior Exercise Central

My Photographs: Subscribers have asked when the newsletter photo at the top of the page and my website pictures were taken. I’m 86 years old now. The photos were taken when I was a mere 70. Though I remain active, I am no longer nearly as muscular as I was 16 years ago. —LF

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Newsletter Policy

The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter is a free publication sent twice monthly to subscribers. The purpose is to provide honest and realistic fitness information for people age 50 and above.

I have never been paid or received compensation of any kind to write a positive review or endorse a product. If I say that I personally use a product or service, it is because I find value in it and have paid for it with my own money.

Like newspapers, magazines, and television, this newsletter and my website contain advertising and marketing links. Naturally, I am compensated for these.

The newsletter and website provide information to help users establish and maintain a fitness lifestyle. But fitness information is not the same as fitness advice, which is the application of exercise and dietary practices to an individual's specific circumstances. Therefore, always consult with your physician for assurance that fitness information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate for you.

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Logan Franklin
The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter

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