Science TEDx

This 93-year-old has a message for us: “A beach body at 90 is no longer a dream”

Posted by: Shirin Samimi-Moore


Charles Eugster may be 93, but he has no less spring in his step than he did as a young man. In this talk from TEDxZurich, he brings us a powerful statistic: 92% of Americans over the age of 65 have one or more chronic diseases. While many clearly cannot be avoided, Eugster points out that inactivity is to blame for many of the diseases those who have lived long lives endure.

During the golden years, people retire and tend to slow down  – and yet there is a connection between work and one’s physical and mental health. But life doesn’t need to finish after retirement, which Eugster calls “voluntary or involuntary unemployment for up to 30 years.” That’s why Eugster has taken up rowing. And weightlifting. Watch this TEDxTalk about the factors for successful aging from a formidable speaker, who urges us to “break off the shackles of convention!”

Comments (23)

  • Derek Amer commented on May 29 2013

    This is an admirable speech for a 93 year old, which is possibly the reason
    it was so well recieved. But i believe it will only interest about one percent of the age-group he is targetting and of those one percent half will die of a heart attack or stroke forcing themselves to believe what he is preaching !!

  • commented on Apr 4 2013

    Reblogged this on Erika Ervin – Your Fitness Girl and commented:
    I created a strength building class format for 55 – 99 yr old Fitzees 3 years ago. Today, my classes are packed! I believe in the human mind and body! We are more capable than we think and my students at ANY age, LOVE to be pushed a little! This blog is so encouraging! Ejnoy…

  • Trevor Hiltbrand commented on Feb 12 2013

    Thats awesome. Weight lifting is so good for you, not just for your body but also your brain. I wrote a post about the age defying benefits of weight lifting for the brain. check it out here

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  • Deane Alban commented on Dec 12 2012

    He makes a fascinating connection between obesity and instincts. Our ancestors were hunter-gathers. They faced constant starvation, so their bodies were adapted to store fat as readily as possible.
    Like all animals it is instinctive for us to want to eat more and move less to conserve precious energy. I had never really thought about that in that way before.
    I was so inspired by this talk that I wrote a post about it on my site about brain health.

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  • commented on Dec 9 2012

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    A very simple but very powerful message on how to stay healthy throughout our lives….focus on “work, diet, and exercise”. The only thing stopping you are excuses.

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  • Nicholas cage commented on Dec 7 2012

  • Razvan Si Lidia Mihalcea commented on Dec 6 2012

    Reblogged this on La Razvi' – Razvan Mihalcea.

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  • Ann Hefferan commented on Dec 5 2012

    Wow! Go him. That’s an inspiration. I agree with Jonathan, above, that there are disease that people contract that could be an obstacle (especially those that result in death!). Because my goal is to be as fit as this man when I am his age, and to reach his age +++++many years, I’ve changed my diet to a whole food, plant diet – I’m now plant powered. I read T Colin Campbell, The China Study. If you want a long, healthy life, this is a must-read. This is information that everyone needs and you will know you needed once you read it. You can simply google him, along with Caldwell Esselstyn – one of the world’s leading (or leading) heart disease experts, who says, “Heart Disease is a paper tiger – it need never exist”. If you really, really, really want to a serious prevention program for our Western diseases – heart disease, cancer, diabetes in children and adults, autoimmune diseases, kidney stones and so on – then a whole food, plant diet is critical. And, of course, pollution, chemicals and so on are also big factors. But, think about other countries in which people don’t eat a Western diet – and look up their rates of cancer and the other diseases I listed. LOW. We are cajoled and hoodwinked into eating more and more protein – particularly animal protein – in fact, it’s a recipe for disease (excuse the pun). Googling Dr Neal Barnard, Dr John McDougall and Doug Lisle….also great talks on You Tube – the internet is so useful for us in gaining information – plenty of misinformation to siphon out, for sure.

  • Carl Men commented on Dec 5 2012

    Extend the retirement age is certainly logical on many levels, for it to happen however, we’d have to revolutionize the entire concept of work. A task no less daunting than the industrial revolution, which did just that centuries ago.

    it’s a human revolution this man is proposing. I like it a lot, but how is it ever going to happen with things the way they are?

  • Joan Viaene commented on Dec 5 2012

    What an inspiring talk!
    I am living this lifestyle presently and will continue to. Thanks for the confirmation!
    I am sharing this talk with all my friends.

  • Jonathan Locke commented on Dec 5 2012

    While he is quite correct that inactivity and disease are linked, the causation quite clearly runs in both directions. For some, exercise may be enough to gain or regain health. For others, who might have, for example, a compromised immune system or a pathogen, it may not be enough. In some cases of chronic illness, vigorous exercise may make things worse. It would be great to have one simple answer to our health problems and simple answers are always seductive, but life is rarely so simple. In a world with a lot of pollution and chemical waste and a huge list of untested experiments on the food supply, it’s virtually impossible to know who is sick because they are inactive and who is inactive because they’re sick. Only the individual themselves has any idea, if anyone does. Certainly doctors and researchers do not.

  • Teri Ross commented on Dec 5 2012

    His message is similar to that of Deepak Chopra. You go Charles!!

  • commented on Dec 5 2012

    Reblogged this on fitness beyond expectations and commented:
    Yeah Charles!