Physical activity and exercise is proven to help you stay healthy, energetic and independent as you get older. As you get older, it becomes even more important to remain active if you want to stay healthy and maintain your independence.
However, there are some that take this to the nth degree. As the older generations start to become healthier and more able, there has been a rise in those undertaking extreme sports.
So we’ve collected some stories of later in life adults who haven’t let their age be a barrier to high-octane sports, proving that you truly are never too old to have fun.
Tom Harrison is also an older adult, but he’s happy to accept that accidents happen when it comes to risk-taking and adrenaline filled activities. The adventure sports enthusiast, who is 73 years of age, ended up with five stitches during sprint training in the dark.
“As you get older your balance isn’t the same when you go downhill, so when it’s a grassy slope you slow down a bit, but I’m not going to stop running. I belong to a fell-running club so I still go all the time. I’m very creaky and arthritic, but otherwise fine and I’ve raised over £10,000 in 10 years for Help the Aged doing all these things.”
“I have packed up running at night on rough ground as my eyesight has deteriorated a bit, but it hasn’t occurred to me to give up. I’m running in the London Marathon next week.”
Rodney Fawell was aged only 70 when he got his scuba diving qualification. He trained for months to get his certification, in order that he could be his 16-year-old grandson’s diving partner.
After becoming retired, Rodney tried scuba diving many years ago but thought he was too old to learn. However, after witnessing his grandson’s passion, he trained in the East Midlands and become fully qualified. He’s even managed to inspire his son-in-law to take lessons, keeping diving a proper family activity.
Vernon Maynard, a retired car dealer from Palm Desert, California, didn’t let the fact that he was celebrating his 100th birthday stop him from chasing one final dream. He had always wanted to try skydiving, so a friend of his helped Vernon’s dream become reality.
“I’d say it was the biggest thrill I’ve had so far,” he said. “I got quite a view up there, and I was surprised how easy the landing was. It was like landing on a sofa, maybe because I was on top of my (tandem skydiving) instructor.”
Maynard says most of his doctors wouldn’t give him permission for the daredevil stunt, but his orthopaedic doctor finally signed it off.
Dr David Spiegelhalter, aged 56, is a keen mountaineer. “I’ve just booked my third 20,000ft peak this summer. I think it’s completely rational for people to do more dangerous things as they get older. Your natural background risk of dying is greater anyway, and you’ve done your bit, so why not go out in glory?”