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5 American Athletes Over the Age of 65

Growing older doesn’t mean seniors can’t be physically fit and accomplish great things. Countless aging adults are breaking athletic records by challenging themselves to all new heights of fitness, strength, and endurance. Lancaster, PA, at-home care experts discuss the accomplishments of 5 amazing American athletes over age 65 who are proving it’s never too late to make a mark.

1. Ernestine Shepherd

At age 80, Ernestine Shepherd calls exercise her anti-aging pill. Motivated to start working out at the age of 56 after losing her sister to a brain aneurysm, Shepherd once held the Guinness World Record for being the oldest female bodybuilder. Having entered her first bodybuilding competition at the age of 71, Shepherd maintains a protein-rich, heart-healthy diet, runs 10 miles each day, and teaches fitness classes. She is also an avid marathon runner.

2. Jacinto Bonilla

Jacinto Bonilla is a 77-year-old CrossFit instructor who was inspired to get fit in 2006 after reading an issue of Men’s Health. CrossFit is a well-known, high-intensity training program that includes several challenging functional exercises. Having battled colon cancer in 2008, Bonilla remains a formidable CrossFit competitor and is currently the oldest person to ever take part in the CrossFit games. 

3. Paul Tetrick

At 85, Paul Tetrick has won over 12 USA Cycling Time Trial competitions. In these events, cyclists race against the clock rather than against other competitors. Tetrick set and still holds a time trial record of just under 35 minutes for a grueling 20K distance.

4. Sister Madonna Buder

Often called the “Iron Nun,” Sister Madonna Buder is 86 years old and continues to expand upon her impressive Ironman and triathlon career. Recently named the face of a Nike campaign called “Unlimited Youth,” Buder didn’t start running until she was 48. In addition to constantly pushing herself to new physical goals, this impressive physical competitor has also successfully campaigned for the addition of new age groups in the Ironman competition to accommodate senior athletes.

5. Louis Self

At age 74, Louis Self is a well-known kiteboarding enthusiast. This challenging sport is a fusion of surfing, windsurfing, and wakeboarding that’s quickly increasing in popularity. Louis maintains a kiteboarding blog, which he uses to encourage others to get out and experience the thrill of water sports. Having been involved in kiteboarding since he was 58, Self is currently capable of jumping a full 20 feet off the surface of the water while in action.

Your aging loved one doesn’t have to be an accomplished athlete to engage in regular exercise and remain healthy. However, physical activity can be challenging for some seniors if they don’t have assistance. At Lancaster Home Care Assistance, our dedicated caregivers are available to help your loved one maintain an exercise routine, and we also offer comprehensive Parkinson’s, stroke, and dementia care Lancaster seniors can rely on. For more information, call (717) 540-4663 to schedule a free in-home consultation.