What Vancouver centenarians and workout besties can tell us about fitness

It’s now March, and if we are honest with ourselves, many of the resolutions we made with the best of intentions as we sipped champagne and watched the ball drop on New Year’s Eve have faded from memory. While lunchtime workouts and green smoothies sounded like a realistic way to move us toward our “best beach bodies ever”, many of us have decided that we will settle for a “good-enough” body and the occasional order of yam fries instead.

Feeling guilty yet? If you are, the story which CBC ran on February 27th may not make you feel better but it could make you feel motivated.

The article details how centenarians and workout besties Claire Adelberg (who turned 103 on February 26th) and Billie Williamson (101 on January 8th) stay fit at their Vancouver retirement home. The two tell CBC that they credit their longevity to their fitness and nutrition regimes.

While there is a considerable discussion as to whether or not living past 100 is related to environment, lifestyle, resilience, mentality or genetics (not to mention a complex interplay of a variety of these factors), it does seem that exercise and nutrition contribute to a longer and healthier life.

At the very least exercise is proven to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes, which are all associated with a person’s risk of developing dementia–particularly vascular dementia. Likewise, it can reduce your risk of developing cancer.

Adelberg and Williamson are among a quickly growing cohort of Canadians who are 100 and older. In fact, according to Statistics Canada, centenarians were the fastest growing age group between 2011 and 2016. While there may not be any magic bullet solution to living to 100, the commitment which Adelberg and Williamson show to maintaining their fitness and nutrition into late-life, despite some of the limitations which accompany age, are certainly a motivation for those of us looking to reignite our 2018 resolutions.

“My own philosophy about getting older is, that you can’t do anything about it, so do the best you can as you go along that journey. Make every day count,” Williamson tells CBC.

Feature image via Tina Lovgreen/CBC