A 92-year-old man in Joshua, Texas, has inspired his local community with his commitment to working out even as he ages.
Lindel Harvey turned 92 last week and celebrated his birthday by going to work out at the Joshua Community YMCA.
“I’m probably the oldest one here, really. A lot of people don’t think I’m as old as I am, but I got proof of it,” Harvey told NBC.
He has been a member of the YMCA since he was 18 years old, around 1949. Harvey told NBC he looks like a stranger now compared to back then, as he was in bodybuilder shape.
Harvey works out three times a week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
He has been an inspiration to 62-year-old YMCA trainer Bradley Morgan, who told NBC that he hopes he is in as good of shape as Harvey is at 92. “I’ve seen him do seven one-arm pull-ups. That was right before we locked down for COVID,” he said.
Harvey exceeds not only those in his age group but also those younger than him. He told NBC, “I do things that a lot of young kids can’t do.”
Harvey said he would continue to work out “as long as the Lord lets me.”
According to 2018 statistics on exercise in England from the National Health Service, physical activity declines with age and declines most noticeably from the age group 75-84 to the ages of 85 and up.
48% of adults in the 75-84 age group are considered active, while only 26% of adults 85 and older are.
The numbers are even lower in the U.S., according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released in 2022. Only 15% of men ages 65 and older were meeting physical activity guidelines, and only around 10% of women ages 65 and older were meeting them.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, this news is accompanied by a sharp increase in obesity prevalence amongst Americans ages 65 and older. In one generation (starting in 1988 and concluding in 2018), the percentage of American seniors with obesity almost doubled, spiking from 22% to 40%.
Obesity is associated with a higher risk of mortality, Type 2 diabetes, and heart disease, to name some potential health complications, and it is a particular problem in Dallas.