99-year-old NC WWII vet misses the gym but still works out at home amid COVID-19 closures

RALEIGH, N.C. -- He's 99 years old and not even a pandemic can keep Nat Hines from working out.

Hines used to go to the gym three days a week but that all changed with COVID-19, and now after North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper's announcement to keep the state in Phase 2, he won't be back in the gym for at least another 5 weeks.

"It don't make you feel good when you want to get in the gym," he said. "In order to avoid getting that virus, I guess I'll just have to accept it."

The World War II veteran said his military training and natural athletic ability has pushed him to keep moving. He even bought an exercise machine last month for his apartment.

"I try to do what I can at home," he said. "For instance, like when I get off the elevator, I do fast-walking to my apartment, which is a good distance. That helps keep my body active anyways. Keep me from going into a decline."

Hines' advice for anyone who doesn't want to get up and go work out right now?

"Do what you can," Hines said. "Don't just give up because if you just decide, 'well I've done enough exercise in my lifetime, so I'm going to quit' -- that's not a good idea. As long as you feel like doing it. It's become a habit to me now. If I don't go exercise for three or four days I ask myself a question: what's wrong with you? And the answer I get is 'go exercise, that's what's wrong with you.'"

Hines' 100th birthday is coming up in September, and however he's able to celebrate, it's safe to say a birthday workout will be on the agenda.
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