Anyone who’s seen the delightful YouTube video of entertainer Dick Van Dyke kicking up his heels in his 89th year to the music of the band Dustbowl Revival has to marvel at the energy and agility of this guy now in his 91st year still dancing like a kid.
His secret, he says in his most recent autobiography, is to “keep moving,” no matter what your age. Despite various aches, pains, and occasional illnesses, he says his desire and ability to dance is what keeps him young.
“If I am out shopping and hear music playing in a store, I start to dance,” he writes. “If I want to sing, I sing. I read books and get excited about new ideas. I enjoy myself. I don’t think about the way I am supposed to act at my age—or any age.”
Of course, Pilates is all about motion, too. Specifically, precise motion combined with proper breathing designed to sculpt muscles, increase flexibility, improve posture, and impart an overall sense of well-being. The core strengthening exercises can’t help but keep you vibrant and energetic at any age.
But it’s not just about the movement. “With the right attitude, age is immaterial,” he says, going on to tell the story of how he had to give up sailing, one of his great loves, when he developed an inner ear issue. Then what? “I cultivated new hobbies. I kept moving,” he writes, harkening back to Woody Allen’s famous quote about sharks, that they have to constantly move forward or they die.
Van Dyke stays involved in the world, keeps up with current events, and stays connected with people. He exercises, learns something new every day, plays games, takes naps, and has a big bowl of vanilla ice cream topped with chocolate syrup every day.
And here’s his recipe for ensuring he gets to the gym every morning, as he told CBS Sunday Morning recently.
“I make a list every morning. Every morning I’m full of ideas and plans. And then by 10:00 I run out of gas. But I go to the gym; drink a cup of coffee and go, or I’ll talk myself out of it. So I just go.”
Dick Van Dyke seems to embrace the world and life itself like a big, happy child. Isn’t that attitude contagious?
If you’re keeping up with your Pilates, you’re probably not “feeling your age,” but if you know others who are, encourage them to get up and just keep moving- pilates, yoga, barre, dancing, performing, creating, and just generally living life to the fullest!