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Is 80 Years Old? Do People in Their 80s Have Active, Productive Lives?


There are many inspiring examples of individuals 80 years old who have continued leading productive, successful and fulfilling lives. Studies show that physical and mental health correlate to a better quality of life at an older age. The examples below demonstrate how healthy habits, lifestyle choices and a positive mindset contribute.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

Here are some specific examples, contemporary and historical:

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The late Supreme Court Justice passed away at age 87. But she remained actively involved in her work on the court and in promoting equality up until her death. Despite numerous health challenges, she worked out regularly, lifting weights and doing push-ups well into her 80s.

Stan Lee: The comic book legend continued to write and create characters well into his 80s. He was a frequent presence at conventions and other industry events. He lived to be 95, regularly engaging with fans on social media and embracing new technologies and media.

Michelangelo: The artist created some of his greatest works in his 80s. For 18 years, starting when he was 71, Michelangelo worked as the chief architect of St. Peter’s Basilica. Despite struggles with arthritis and other health issues, he kept at it until his death at age 89.

Ernestine Shepherd: The Guinness World Record-holding oldest female bodybuilder began exercising in her 50s and continued to compete well into her 80s. She will be 87 on her next birthday in June and continues to inspire others to stay fit and healthy at any age.

Jane Fonda: The 85-year-old actress, fitness guru and activist remains highly active in her own life as well as in her advocacy efforts. She continues to perform, speak up on important social issues, and remain connected with fans while inspiring them to stay active and take care of their health. Her new movie, The Book Club, Next Chapter opens on May 12th.

Gloria Steinem: The 89-year-old journalist and feminist icon continues to be an outspoken advocate for the rights of women and minorities, writing books, making speeches, and participating in marches. She remains a leader in her field, receiving numerous honors and awards for her work.

What We Know

These examples demonstrate that people can remain active, productive and engaged well into their 80s and beyond. With the right mindset and lifestyle choices, anyone can live an inspiring life at any age.

The contemporary individuals share similar traits: a commitment to their work and passions, a focus on healthy habits such as exercise and a balanced diet, and a positive outlook on life. These traits contribute to a better quality of life at an older age, including better cognitive function, physical health and overall well-being.

Furthermore, studies demonstrate that healthy aging is achievable through a variety of lifestyle choices and preventative measures. These include regular exercise, healthy and balanced nutrition, good sleep habits, frequent social engagement and regular cognitive stimulation.

In conclusion, through examples such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Ernestine Shepherd, Jane Fonda and Gloria Steinem, we see how leading a balanced and healthy lifestyle can lead to productive and fulfilling lives even into old age. Adopting healthy habits and a positive mindset, as well as staying engaged with one’s passions and work, contribute to maintaining physical and cognitive health and achieving longevity.

The Roosevelt Island Daily is always free to read. But our expenses are not. Publishing has costs beyond the human ones of writing and reporting. We appreciate your generous contribution in support our work. Thank you.

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