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Dick Van Dyke health latest as he turns 97

Dick Van Dyke reveals workout routine at 95 years old

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On December 13, 2002, Dick Van Dyke turned 97; when asked how it feels, he quipped: “Well, if I’d known I was going to live this long I’d have taken better care of myself!” Yet, the four-time Primetime Emmy award-winning actor does look after himself in the form of exercise. In a birthday tribute, fellow performer Drake Hogestyn, 69, Tweeted: “Happy 97th Birthday to my workout buddy Dick Van Dyke!”

When asked by the Daily Mail what he attributes to his long and healthy life, Van Dyke laughed and said: “I don’t know… all my friends are dead, so I’m not going to complain!”

His cheery disposition is in his “nature”, he told National Public Radio (NPR).

“I’m one of those people who gets up on the right side of the bed in the morning,” he elaborated. “It’s more in my nature to be optimistic.”

Revealing his morning routine, the grandfather said he would “get up” in the morning, sip on a “cup of coffee”, and “go to the gym”.

The nonagenarian showed off his workout routine to CBS, back in June 2021, which included sit-ups.

“I’m 95, and a lot of my friends won’t do these,” he beamed at the time.

Exercise has been a consistent feature in Van Dyke’s life, from the days of starring in the original Mary Poppins in 1964 to the remake in 2018.

Starring in the reboot, Van Dyke “had to prove” he could still do the dance routines.


“So all you old guys out there, listen to me, I’m telling you, you can keep going for a long [time],” Van Dyke said.

“I’m looking forward to 100,” he declared. “George Burns [an American comedian] made it, and I’m gonna do it too.”

In his 2015 book, titled Keep Moving and Other Tips and Truths About Ageing, Van Dyke emphasised the importance of exercise.

“Keep moving,” he penned, adding that people should continue to go up and down the stairs normally in older age, if possible.

Instead of “going down the stairs sideways”, which may feel good on the knees, he says “it throws the hips out and the back starts to go”.

“The next thing you know, you’ve fallen down and broken your hip,” he stated. “So even if it hurts a little, go down the stairs front ways.”

Does Van Dyke’s tips for longevity stand up?

Exercise, as Van Dyke proposes, really is key to living a long and healthy life.

The NHS says it is the “miracle cure” people have been hoping for, as keeping fit can reduce the risk of illnesses, such as heart disease and stroke.

As for optimism, a large body of research shows that more positive people tend to outlive people who look on the pessimistic side of life.

One study found that optimistic women, for example, lived up to 15 percent longer than their more pessimistic peers.

For happier men, they tended to live 10 percent longer than their down-trodden counterparts.

Dick Van Dyke starred in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which is showcasing on Saturday, December 31 on ITV at 3.20pm.

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