Working out over the age of 90: Seniors share secrets

Thursday, July 6, 2017
Working out over the age of 90: Seniors share secrets
Redondo Beach health club has 25 members over the age of 90 with a medium age of 60. Lori Corbin shares their secrets.

REDONDO BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Bob Lonsdale is not only 96 years old, he received a prosthetic leg seven years ago -- yet that doesn't keep him from the gym.

"I've been coming here three mornings a week for 21 years. My friends here at the gym, good part of my life," said Lonsdale.

He uses the arm bike, treadmill and other machines, then it's on to coffee with friends from The Center for Health and Fitness in Redondo Beach.

"Meeting their neighbors and social and emotional well-being,which is most important for health," said physician Dr. Bill Kim.

Kim says exercise helps prevent heart disease, diabetes and cancer, but it's the socialization he finds key. This club has about 100 programs for its clients: 25 are over 90, and the median age is 60.

Medical exercise specialist Jason Bautista stresses that being sedentary won't help pain, plus joining in helps with morale.

"Emotionally the camaraderie you can receive from people who are going through the same things that you are," said Bautista.

Study after study shows that exercise helps your mind your body your emotions your circulation and one thing that's surprising you actually want to step it up instead of tone it down.

"The older we get perhaps we ought to set the bar higher," said Kim.

A recent study with those over age 60 found cognitive and physical gains when participants performed high-intensity interval training (HIIT) - brief strength bouts alternating with cardio.

Specialists like Bautista help newcomers find suitable workouts. The members themselves are very good at being welcoming.

When I asked Bob if he plans to be here another 20, he replied, "Yes, about that."