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An 83-year-old neurosurgeon who does triathlon has 3 tips for younger people who want to be as fit and healthy as him

At the age of 40, Dr. Joseph Maroon found himself in a state of poor fitness, struggling even with basic activities like climbing stairs. It was a family friend who urged him to take up running, and little did he know that this suggestion would become the catalyst for a remarkable transformation. Fast forward to the age of 83, and Dr. Maroon not only competes in triathlons but also continues his practice as a neurosurgeon at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, defying the conventional norms of retirement.

In the tumultuous year of 1980, Dr. Maroon faced a series of challenges – the loss of his father, taking over a truck stop business, and going through a divorce. This upheaval took a toll on his mental and physical well-being, leading to depression and weight gain. Running emerged as a lifesaver when a friend recommended it as a means to improve his mental health.

Starting with a modest run around a high school track, Dr. Maroon initially struggled but experienced immediate improvements in his sleep and overall mental well-being. Slowly incorporating swimming and cycling into his routine, he aimed to further enhance his mental and physical health.

His fitness journey expanded to include triathlons, and at the age of 53, he accomplished his first Ironman Triathlon – a remarkable feat involving a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile cycle, and a marathon. Dr. Maroon attributes his recovery from depression and his return to neurosurgery to the transformative power of exercise, emphasizing that a single run around a track saved his life.

With eight Ironman Triathlons completed and a second-place finish in the 2022 National Senior Games triathlon, Dr. Maroon not only maintains an active lifestyle but also a thriving career. Serving as the medical director for WWE, engaging in longevity research, and sharing insights at events like the Global Aging Consortium, he embodies the idea that age should not limit one’s pursuit of physical and mental well-being.

For those looking to embark on a fitness journey, Dr. Maroon recommends starting with a simple walk and emphasizes the importance of incorporating resistance training and flexibility exercises. Activities like pilates, stretching, yoga, and weightlifting can play a crucial role in achieving overall fitness.

Addressing the balance in life is another key aspect of Dr. Maroon’s fitness philosophy. Regularly assessing the equilibrium between work, family, exercise, and spirituality, he acknowledges that imbalance can lead to chronic stress – a factor linked to various health problems.

In conclusion, Dr. Joseph Maroon’s incredible journey from a state of poor fitness to an active and thriving life serves as an inspiration, proving that age should not hinder one’s pursuit of physical and mental well-being.

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