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Never Too Late: 93-Year-Old Champion Proves the Benefits of Starting to Exercise at any Age

March 28, 2024

By Susan R. Healy

Ninety-three-year-old Richard Morgan is a four-time world champion in indoor rowing. A case study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology revealed that he has the heart, muscles, metabolism and lungs of someone less than half his age. The results would be surprising even if he had been a lifelong athlete, but Morgan didn’t begin exercising at all until he was 73.

Morgan was inspired to try out a rowing machine after watching his grandson, a competitive collegiate rower. Morgan’s routine consists of 40 minutes of rowing a day, plus resistance training 2-3 times a week, and a high-protein diet. The study showed his body composition to be 80% muscle. His peak heart rate was among the highest ever recorded for someone in their 90s, a rate that was comparable to that of a healthy 30- to 40-year-old. The study’s senior author called the time he spent with Morgan “one of the most inspiring days I’ve ever spent in the lab.” (See “At 93, he’s as fit as a 40-year-old. His body offers lessons on aging,” The Washington Post)

Like Morgan, 91-year-old Alida Kingswood, who broke the world record last year for indoor rowing for her age group, exercises every day. After her record-breaking win, she encouraged other seniors to try. “People say, ‘Wow, I couldn’t do that.’ But you can if you want to.” (See “91-year-old breaks world record at world rowing indoor championships,” CBC Sports)

Copyright ©2024 Susan R. Healy