Is 100 the new 80? Society is developing, our lifestyles more attuned to the food we consume and the activities that make us feel better. And it’s working. Life expectancy in the UK has increased by 30 years over the last century.
Turning 80 once meant you were restricted from doing a lot of the things you loved. The light switch went out and you were left wishing you could still do the same things you could when you were 20. Yet, maybe you still can.
Have you ever thought you were too old for sport? Think again. We’ve found some of the most inspirational seniors who, despite their age, are still breaking new records. So, if you were wondering whether you could, whether you should, the answer is yes. Discover your new role models proving that age is just a number.
103-year-old, Julia aka Hurricane
Just like the weather, Julia is a force not to be reckoned with. Given the nickname after her ferocious running performances where she continues her winning streak. Now the oldest female competitor in the U.S, Hurricane Julia has just won her latest gold medals in the 500m and 100m races. And stopping there might be out of the question. With the crowd behind her and the willpower to believe it’s still possible, she continues to impress all of us.
Despite always being an active individual, it wasn’t until Flo turned 60 when she turned to athletics. She had a natural knack that caught people’s attention. After some persuasion, she entered the Senior Games competitions with her best friend and did so for another 20 years.
She started with the long jump, but now also focuses on hammer throwing, javelin and pole vault. Over the years, her talent has helped her reach the top of competitions. With 775 medals now under her belt, she’s in need of more space to hold her trophy case.
Flo’s achievements haven’t come without hard work. She trains 2 hours a day, 5 days a week to keep her body feeling and moving to her optimum level. Her confidence to succeed and persevere is rare but truly motivational.
96-year-old, Charles Eugster
Ex-dentist turned sporting sensation. At 99 years of age, you might think Charles Eugster’s competitive days were behind him. Yet, with numerous running world records to his name, he is one of the fittest and healthiest seniors in the world.
He holds the 100m and 200m sprint world records in his age group, but athletics isn’t the only thing that keeps Charles active. Body-building, rowing and wakeboarding are also some of the other activities that keep him defying the test of time.
Robert Marchand broke new world records in 2016 by being the oldest centenarian athlete to complete cycling’s ‘hour’ challenge. The infamous challenge requires cyclists to ride as far as possible around a velodrome in one hour. At 104, Robert managed 14 miles in his time on the boards, smashing new records for cyclists his age.
As well as the joy of still doing a sport he truly loves, Robert puts his impressive performance down to his healthy regime. He gets lost of exercise in his routine, eats a well-balanced diet with minimal amounts of caffeine.
One of the most impressive runners you may never have heard of. Oggie is no stranger to completing marathons. He isn’t an ex-athlete that grew up in athletics, Oggie ran his first marathon aged 55. And yes, the rest was history.
In 2017, he completed his 300th marathon in under 270 weeks. Smashing records for the oldest person (over 60) to complete the most marathons in a year and in a quick time (under 4 hours).
Despite society depicting that life should slow down as we get older; these elder individuals have reimagined what getting old can be. Age-defiant, they are proof that you can still smash exercise records. With a decent training regime, healthy eating and a positive mindset, impressive exercise goals can be made easier. So, if these astonishing seniors have inspired you to get moving, we have some simple tips to help you get started.
Discover ideas on group activities you can join or straightforward tips to improving your fitness levels when you’re over 50. Don’t let your age put you off – you’re just at the starting line.