Exercise fuels senior citizen’s longevity

By Jack Kelly / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“I had kidney stones when I was about 40,” said David Julian, 72. “That’s the last time I was in the hospital for anything.” He can’t remember the last time he was sick.

Mr. Julian, a retired physical education teacher, is blessed by good luck and good genes. But his remarkable good health is largely a product of his exercise habits. Every morning of virtually every day, he goes to Streamline Fitness in McKees Rocks for a two- to three-hour workout.

“I work on the upper body one day, my legs the next,” he said. “I stick with the pulleys. At my age, I don’t want to mess with dumbbells.”

Darrell Sapp David Julian, 72, works out with the leg press at Streamline Fitness, McKees Rocks. He says he works out 2 hours a day.

Mr. Julian supplements his resistance exercises with a 5-to- 7-mile walk almost every day. He prefers to walk outside in his neighborhood. But during winter and when the weather is inclement, he utilizes the treadmills at Streamline Fitness. He also plays golf once a week, hunts and fishes.

“I used to be a runner,” he said, “but it tore the hell out of my knees.” His workout routine has helped the 5-foot-9-inch Mr. Julian keep his weight at a svelte 172 pounds for the past 20 years. Mr. Julian’s (systolic) blood pressure was 122. That’s well below the level (140-159) where doctors consider prescribing medication for high blood pressure. Blood pressure tends to rise with age. About two-thirds of senior citizens have high blood pressure.

Mr. Julian follows no special diet.

“I eat pretty much everything, but in moderation,” he said. “No protein drinks, no supplements.” His workout routine also was critical to his mental and emotional health when his wife died 12 years ago.

“I was devastated,” he said. “My buddies would come and literally pull me out of the house, get me to do things.” His gym has become the center of his social life.

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