Exercise After 50: Yes You Can!

Dan O’Brien

All eyes are on the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. But for competitive athletes of all ages, all eyeglasses may be on the 2021 Kansai World Masters Games.

The Masters are an international multi-sport event, held every four years much like the Olympics, except for people aged 30 and older. And “older” could mean well past the century mark. Hidekichi Miyazaki, at the age of 105, is the world record holder for the 100-meter sprint in his age group, with a time at 42.22 seconds.

With advances in health sciences, medicine, diet, people are living longer, more active lives than ever before, particularly in the economically mature nations. And if you were a competitive person in your twenties, it’s likely you are a competitive person in your fifties, sixties and seventies. The Masters have provided that outlet for the high-performance athlete who thinks she’s never too old.

On July 18, Dan O’Brien turned 50. The still youngish looking O’Brien from Portland Oregon was crowned World’s Greatest Athlete when he won gold in the decathlon at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Today, O’Brien still stays in shape, and along with Dr Vonda Wright, think you – the 50-, 60-something – can definitely get in shape. You just need to stop telling yourself you can’t. Go to this Sports Illustrated article to see why these myths are just myths:

MYTH #1: It’s all downhill after 50

MYTH #2: Older athletes should avoid vigorous exercise

MYTH #3: Older athletes just get hurt

MYTH #4: Too late to start

Ready to get off your butt?