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Amazing Seniors We Admire

Renee Eder on Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The U.S. population is getting older, and the average life expectancy is expected to keep rising, thanks to advances in medicine, nutrition, and safety. But many of today’s seniors aren’t content to sit still and age quietly. Lately we’ve seen headlines of amazing elders who have completed marathons, won medals in waterskiing, raced in NASCAR, and more.

Here are some examples:

  • Last week, 92-year-old runner Harriette Thompson became the oldest woman to complete a full 26.2-mile marathon Sunday in San Diego, finishing the Rock n Roll Marathon with a time of 7:24:36.
  • In March 2015, Georgina Harwood celebrated her 100th birthday by jumping out of a plane with 15 friends and family members, and followed it up by swimming with sharks.
  • Frances Woofenden is an accomplished 90-year old water skier, who has won several medals in competitions.
  • Ernestine Shepherd (pictured above) is a 78-year old who works as a certified personal trainer at a Baltimore gym, and wakes up at 3 a.m. every morning to run (she logs 80 miles a week) and lift weights (she can bench-press 150 pounds).
  • Herschel McGriff (87) competed in a national NASCAR race six years ago at Portland International Raceway and finished 13th.

"I don't think I'd be living today if I didn't do this running," Harriette Thompson, cancer survivor said. Other active seniors agree. This is because physical activity and exercise has been proven to help you stay healthy, energetic, and independent as you get older.

Physical activity is anything that gets your body moving. It can include anything from walking to recreational sport. Examples of moderate-intensity aerobic activities include walking fast, doing water aerobics, riding a bike, and playing tennis. Daily chores such as shopping, cooking or housework don't count towards an individual's exercising effort because these tasks don't raise your heart rate enough, although they do help break up sedentary time.

If you are a senior, or anyone who wants to get in shape and stay fit, check out the offerings through our Health, Fitness, and Aquatics Department here.


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