80-Year-Old Runway Model Shares Secrets to Staying Fit

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80-Year-Old Runway Model Shares Secrets to Staying Fit

At 80 years old, Wang Deshun is redefining what it means to get older — one catwalk at a time.

In China, most men retire at age 60, and people as young as 50 are often referred to as “grandma” or “grandpa” — even if they don’t have grandchildren, according to the New York Times. But Wang isn’t interested in embodying that sentimental nickname. An actor and artist, he’s spent the last few decades combatting stereotypical ideas of aging and working on keeping both his mind and body super strong and energetic. He’s taught modeling classes at a Beijing fashion school, and he even walked a high-fashion runway for the first time last year, at age 79.

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With all his hard work, he’s managed to steer clear of taking on the traditional title of “yeye,” or “grandpa.” Instead, he’s earned himself a slightly different moniker — in China, he’s known as the country’s “hottest grandpa.”

Of course, maintaining his title takes lots of hard work: According to the Times, Deshun spends three hours every day working out, and his daily routine includes a half-mile-long swim. He also works on keeping his mind sharp by spending his mornings learning and reading.

Wang admits to small dietary changes such as drinking less alcohol, but what he says keeps him feeling truly strong and energetic is his youthful mindset — he’s always open to trying new things, and he always has a new goal for his future in mind.

“Being mentally healthy means you know what you’re going to do,” he explained to the Times. “For example, a vegetable vendor, when he wakes up, he has a goal, he works hard. And when he finishes, he feels fulfilled.” And as long as he’s got something to work toward and something to keep him busy (he tells the Times that parachuting is one of the next things on his list), he also feels fulfilled.

“Nature determines age, but you determine your state of mind,” he told the Times.

For more on how Wang became a runway model, watch the video below.

(h/t The New York Times)

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