These days, it is not unusual to find adults in their 80s and 90s who are still active. Because human life expectancy has increased, it is possible for senior citizens to remain active in sports and other physical activities. Research shows that senior citizens who practice sports have impressive peak performance capability and physiological function capacity. Sports help them keep their coordination intact, maintain muscle strength, and enjoy above-average endurance for their age. Active older adults also have a better memory, considerably less need for prescription medication, and a lower risk of being admitted to the hospital. Although many people remain active into older adulthood, these seven inspiring senior citizens continue to engage in intense sports despite their age.
Cianciolo is a sixty-year-old bodybuilder who decided to lift weights as a way to put on weight when he was a middle school football player. However, it did not work out the way he had planned, so he joined the wrestling team in high school and a powerlifting team in college. He won local and regional competitions and made his last appearance as Mr. American in a 1981 competition. Although he did not decide to compete again until 2017, he remained active and maintained his bodybuilding lifestyle. After going through a difficult divorce, he entered competitions to clear his head and have a goal to work toward. He placed first in Masters Over 60, second in Masters Over 50, and fourth in Open. His advice for other older adults is to maintain a lifestyle that requires good habits and a daily schedule.
Nerger was a lifelong runner, but when he realized that age was starting to affect him, he shifted his focus to cycling. Since the late 70s, Nerger had had the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa on his bucket list. On his 60th birthday, he finally started the race, which lasted seven days and covered more than four hundred miles across the state. He was more than pleased with the experience and hopes to repeat it in the future. Nerger advises adults that if an injury or life change gets in their way, they must be prepared to adapt their fitness regimen just like he did when running no longer seemed feasible. He claims that many adults who are active and fit give up once their primary sport stops working for them. Nerger is an example of what adults can achieve when they set their priorities right.