10 People Over 70 Who Are Fitter Than You

Age ain’t nothing but a number for these senior citizens who have stayed fit in their 70s, 80s, and beyond

April 26, 2013
Ed Peters
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Photograph courtesy of Ed Peters
Ed Peters, 70

A lifeguard for more than 50 years, Ed Peters has to stay in shape so he can potentially save others. Every year Peters must pass a lifeguard re-hire test, which involves running a quarter-mile and swimming 100 meters under certain times. (Search: Lifeguard certification requirements) To prepare, he commits to a regimen of swimming, cycling, and lifting.

Video: Check out Ed Peters in action!

Plus: 10 Fat Fighters for Over 40

Jacinto Barillo
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Courtesy of Jacinto Barillo
Jacinto Bonilla, 73

The intensity of CrossFit makes it a formidable activity for even the most youthful athletes, but that hasn't stopped Jacinto Bonilla. The septuagenarian has been lifting weights since the 1950s and discovered CrossFit about six years ago after reading about it in Men's Health. He's been a regular ever since. He remained committed to CrossFit even as he battled prostate cancer.

Video: Check out Jacinto Bonilla in action!

Ernestine Shepherd
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Getty Images
Ernestine Shepherd, 76

Bodybuilding champion Ernestine Shepherd puts most grandmas to shame. After years of teaching fitness classes at her church, the sleek 70-something took up body building at 71 and held the Guinness title for the oldest female competitive bodybuilder from 2010 through 2011. To maintain her physique, Shepherd routinely rises at 3 AM to run up to 10 miles, lift weights, and work with trainers.

Get tight and toned in half the time with the Women's Health 15-Minute Belly, Butt & Thighs Workouts DVD

Don Wildman
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Don Wildman, 79

Fitness has almost always been an integral part of Don Wildman's life. The founder of Bally Total Fitness has been an influential member of the industry for more than 50 years. He continues to stay active with strength training and a variety of extreme sports, and recently has competed in events including the Huntsman World Senior Games, the Hawaii Ironman triathlon (he's finished nine Ironmans total!), and the New York and Los Angeles marathons. To celebrate turning 80, he plans on mountain biking in the Himalayas as well as participating in the Race Across America, a 3,000-mile bike ride.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Boost your strength with the Power of 12 Workout

Ed Whitlock
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101 West Photography
Ed Whitlock, 82

Most runners can only dream of running a 3:30 marathon--a time Canadian Ed Whitlock nailed at the ripe age of 81. Whitlock's 3:30:26 finish at the 2012 Toronto marathon was just another age-group world record for the octogenarian who holds the 81-age record and several masters track records, as well as the 80+ record, which he set at the 2011 Toronto Marathon.

The Rookie Marathon Training Plan

Sister Madonna Buder
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Courtesy of Simon and Schuster
Sister Madonna Buder, 82

This might be the closest we get to a real-life flying nun. Sister Madonna Buder, known as the Iron Nun, has completed more than 340 triathlons, including dozens of Ironman-class races. In fact, the 75-to-79 age group category was created just for her at the 2005 Ironman World Championship in Kona, HI. She's the oldest women to ever have completed an Ironman triathlon, and holds several age-group records. The Roman Catholic nun's athletic career began in her late 40s when she started running for spiritual enrichment. Eventually, she integrated cycling and swimming into her routine in her 50s. You can read about her experiences in her memoir, The Grace to Race.

Yes, You Can Become a Triathlete

Charles Eugster
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Courtesy of Charles Eugster
Charles Eugster, 93

One of the world's oldest oarsmen, British dentist Charles Eugster began competing in regattas in his 60s. He has more than 100 rowing awards to his name, including 36 Masters Golds. Eugster took up bodybuilding in his 80s, and has won championship titles in two fitness decathlons. The fitness enthusiast also travels the world preaching the benefits of exercise for the elderly.

27 No-Equipment Exercises You Can Do at Home

Gladys Burrill
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Brightroom
Gladys Burrill, 94

The 86-year-old--also known as the "Gladyator"--didn't run her first marathon until she was 86. After the first time she crossed the finish line, she completed the Honolulu Marathon five times, and in 2011 her accomplishment catapulted the then 92-year-old into the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest woman to finish a marathon.

The 10 Best Beginner Marathons

Tao Porchon-Lynch
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Courtesy of Tao Porchon-Lynch
Tao Porchon-Lynch, 94

To say that Tao Porchon-Lynch is a master yoga teacher almost feels like an understatement. The 94-year-old has been practicing for over 70 years and has traveled the world to study with yoga greats. She founded the Westchester Institute of Yoga in 1982, and continues to lead yoga classes and workshops in her hometown and across the globe.

10 Challenging Yoga Poses to Master

Fauja Singh
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Fauja Singh, 102

Faujah Singh is thought to be the oldest marathon in the world (his lack of a birth certificate, however, prevents him from nabbing the official Guinness Book of World Records title). In 2011 the so-called "Turbaned Tornado" finished the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon at age 100. Two years later the centenarian capped off his career by completing his last competitive race--a 10K in Hong Kong--before retiring from the sport shortly before his 102nd birthday.

For more inspiration read about how one woman completed 52 marathons in 52 weeks

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