Need some help keeping the New Year fitness regime going?
Take some inspiration from 98-year-old John Hamilton – who goes to the gym five times a week.
The Second World War veteran credits his daily workouts with keeping him fighting fit.
And the sprightly great-grandad says without his strict exercise regime he would be dead.
John’s active lifestyle is even more remarkable because he smokes and drinks every day.
He started working out aged 85 after giving up golf because it was ‘too strenuous’.
The ex-Army major, who was evacuated from Dunkirk, began with a gentle hour-long routine.
But determined John now exercises and pumps iron for 90 minutes every weekday morning.
A typical session sees him push his limits with 20 minutes on an exercise bike and 15 on the treadmill.
He ends each session at Harridges Health and Fitness in Warminster, Wilts., with 400 stomach crunches.
John, who had a knee replacement seven years ago, keeps the weight off by eating a healthy diet.
But he cannot resist smoking an ounce of tobacco in his pipe each week or sipping a nightly glass of wine.
The pensioner, from Sutton Veny, Wilts., said: “My age is just a number – it’s about how I feel.
“The gym has helped me to get into better shape and it has kept me feeling young.
“I think I look younger and I put that down to the gym.
“As you get older it’s like old car parts that wear out, but I think I’ve kept mine going.
“If I hadn’t been going to the gym I think I would be utterly bored of my life.
“I would have said, ‘I really don’t want to stick around any longer’. If I didn’t go I think I probably would have gone by now.”
Widower John’s impressive routine means he only goes to the doctor twice a year for a check up.
He added: “I’m the oldest there by ten years – the next one is an 88-year-old man and the third is 81.
“I think I’m probably an example to other older people as to what you can do when you’re elderly.
“I see people exercising and they don’t work very hard. I really work at it, until it almost starts to hurt me.
“I’m in the oldest there and I’m in good shape, I must say.
“After going to the gym I feel great physically and I feel adrenaline flowing.
“The gym want me to keep going until I’m 100 and I have no plans to stop – absolutely not.”
John, whose wife of 67 years Elsa died of dementia in 2006, served with the 1st King’s Dragoon Guards.
In his younger years he regularly played cricket, rugby, golf, tennis, squash and polo.
Health centre owner Julie Harridge, 48, said: “John is completely unique.
“He inspires a lot of people – he’s amazing. If this doesn’t inspire people then I don’t know what will.”
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