The 4 longevity secrets of a 93-year-old athlete were revealed in a study

The 4 longevity secrets of a 93-year-old athlete were revealed in a study


At 93, Richard Morgan is as fit as anyone half his age.

The Irishman was the subject of a new analysis, published last month in the Journal of Applied Physiology, of his training regime, diet and general health.

Although he is a four-time world indoor rowing champion, the retired baker told the Irish Examiner that he “never really played sport” until he started exercising regularly when he was 73.

“I started from nowhere,” Morgan told the Washington Post of his exercise routine. One day he “suddenly realized that it was very pleasant to do this.”

Research has shown that while exercise won’t turn back the clock, a good fitness routine can help stave off the effects of aging.

These are the four mainstays in Morgan’s exercise routine.


Richard Morgan, 93, was the subject of a new case study, which found he is as fit as someone half his age. The Irishman was not very active until he started rowing indoors regularly at the age of 73. YouTube/Irish Examiner

Consistency is key — the champion rower exercises for 40 minutes every day.

Researchers believe that Morgan’s dedication to his training helped him see impressive and lasting results.

Alternating training

He exercises almost every day, alternating the intensity of his training between easy, tolerable and maximal efforts. Journal of Applied Physiology

The study showed that Morgan’s training regimen was also a major factor in his success.

Throughout the week he alternates the intensity of his training.

About 70% of his workouts were easy, about 20% were hard but tolerable, and about 10% were performed at maximal effort.

While only a small part of his training was total exercise, the researchers believe that this small but intense part of his training helped him use oxygen efficiently, specifically benefiting his cardiorespiratory health.

Training with weights

The 93-year-old also lifts weights two or three days a week. Shutterstock

Studies have shown that fitness fanatics who undergo regular resistance training, such as lifting weights and squatting, can increase muscle strength and improve mental health.

Morgan used dumbbells to complete about three sets of lunges and curls — repeating each movement until his muscles were too tired to continue — two or three times a week.

The senior athlete’s routine aligns with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, which recommend that adults complete muscle-strengthening activities at least two days per week.

High protein diet

Along with his exercise routine, Morgan follows a high-protein diet, exceeding the recommendation for someone his height. YouTube/Irish Examiner

The researchers also reported that Morgan, who weighs about 165 pounds, enjoys a protein-rich diet.

He eats about 1 gram of protein per kilogram of his body weight every day, exceeding the usual dietary recommendation for someone his height.

Protein is a vital nutrient, especially for those trying to build muscle, and it has been found to prevent older adults from developing chronic diseases.

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