There are amazing Superseniors out there still actively “doing it” who reinforce the importance of action, motion and engagement to avoid a “long decline” to old age.

We recently reviewed The Longevity Prescription: The 8 Proven Keys to a Long, Healthy Life, and The Roadmap to 100 – The Breakthrough Science of Living a Long and Healthy Life. The takeaway message from both is that whole-life happiness balances physical health with emotional well-­being. No matter what your age, there are ways to enhance your longevity through healthy behaviors, and the time to start is now!

Need inspiration for longevity and spirit? How about legendary three-time U.S. Olympian John A. Kelley, who started a record 61 Boston Marathons and finished 58. Kelley, won the race in 1935 and 1945, first competed in 1928 and last completed the course in 1992 at the age of 84! From 1995-2004, Kelley served as the Boston Marathon’s grand marshal. He was a member of both the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame, and the National Road Running Distance Hall of Fame. He was selected as “The Runner of the Century,” by Runner’s World magazine, for his contributions to the sport of running and the millions of athletes who he has inspired. Kelley lived to be 97 (1907-2004), and a sculpture dedicated to him of his likeness “Young at Heart,” sits at the base of Heartbreak Hill, a Boston Marathon landmark which refers to one of Kelley’s seven runner-up performances.

Another inspiring supersenior is Fred Peirce of Spring, TX, who at 80 ran in his first marathon in 2008 at the urging of his granddaughter (San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon). Peirce competed with six other runners in his age group 80-99 and finished second!  Read an interview about this supersenior at Suite101.com and be motivated to keep moving, stay engaged and, like Peirce, embrace your longevity.

Dr. Walter Bortz, a Clinical Professor of Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine, is a supersenior, well on his way to becoming a super-centenarian by daring himself to be 100!  He maintains a busy schedule of book signings and speaking engagements, most recently in Ireland on YouTube video. He has published hundreds of scientific articles, written six books and is working on his seventh: Next Medicine. He manages a busy professional life, as well as maintaining his healthy lifestyle, and is an active marathoner. We checked his Facebook page and saw that he and his wife Ruth (a supersenior in her own right) finished a 20-mile run in Rutherford in the California wine country prior to running the Boston Marathon, which they completed on April 19th to celebrate their 80th birthdays!  His grandchildren encouraged him to leap into the world of blogging, which is a terrific example of pushing the limits of the “engagement” comfort zone for cognitive fitness.

The one common trait that superseniors share is a competitive spirit.

Check out the National Senior Games website for resources to, “long live the challenge.” Medal Sports offered (require qualifying at 2010 State Games) include Archery, Badminton, Basketball, Bowling, Cycling, Golf, Horseshoes, Race Walk, Racquetball, Road Race, Shuffleboard, Softball, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Track & Field, Triathlon, and Volleyball. This year’s sports include team sports like Ice Hockey, Pickleball, Team Bowling, Team Golf and Team Curling. All individual sports are offered separately for men and women in five-year age divisions beginning with 50 and ending with 100+. All team sports are offered separately for men and women in the following age divisions: 50+, 55+, 60+, 65+, 70+, and 75+. In addition, 3-on-3 basketball has an 80+ age division.

If marathons aren’t challenging enough, you can enjoy adventure travel combined with one of the most challenging experiences of your life – ultra marathon running. Sign up for the Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica, known as the Route of Fire. Or the Bocas del Toro Panama Island Run. In the U.S. try out the Badwater UltraMarathon or the Western States Endurance Run. You can test yourself in Africa and Europe. Check out the website ULTRAmarathonRunning.com for races worldwide. With boomer attitude, supersenior adventure racers worldwide say “just do it” and we say, “why not!”

Boomers live well by actively staying in the mainstream and never retiring from life. Like the superseniors paving the way, we’ll achieve at least an additional decade of longevity by walking the talk on theSteps to 100. We’ll be ultraboomers well on our way to becoming “supercentenarians” who personify that living well never gets old!

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