Part 2 of Love Never Gets Old, a Citizen series on love, sex and romance among seniors, looks at the "never get old" part and that means staying healthy to look good and feel great. Meet two people who have mastered that part.
He's an old Sun Dog and says the benefits he gets from the sun makes him happy.
"I hate to be a pale face," laughed Ray Lougheed, 78, a railroader from way back who is a 17-year volunteer at the Central B.C. Railway and Forestry Museum, most visibly, as conductor of the Cottonwood mini rail train.
"Ever since 1949 when I started working for the railroad I took my shirt off and I've had it off ever since. I sit in my sun hut in my yard and I start that in March when there's still snow all around and I get a big dose of Vitamin D, which is so important for good health."
Lougheed, a country western singing guitar player, has always cared for his body and said he believes that leads to a long and happy life.
Lougheed, who won a 2011 Volunteer Recognition Award from the City of Prince George for his efforts at the Railway Museum, said he's been very competitive from as far back as he can remember. Even little things like seeing footprints in the snow on the way to school would get those competitive juices flowing. He would take bigger steps just because he could.
Using that innate edge, he soon took on wrestling as a young adult. He was Saskatchewan lightweight and welterweight champion ten times and won six Canadian titles, four freestyle and two greco roman. He competed in the 1960 Summer Olympic Games in Rome and came eighth in his wrestling category. He also competed in the British Commonwealth tournament and won in 1958, took silver in 1965 at the World Championship and then silver again at the Pan Amercian Games.
"It's better to be a has-been than a never-was," Lougheed said, giving a little whoop of enthusiasm. He was involved in Senior Games for many years and won the 5,000 and 10,000 metre power walk a few years in a row in the 70 plus category.
"I told Dick Voneugen, of the Seniors Games, that I'll wait 'til I'm 90 to compete again," he laughed. Lougheed's too busy right now to train.
"When you've been involved in sports all your life, the training stays with you for the rest of your life," said Lougheed. "Your diet and exercise. You discipline yourself and it's just a natural way of life -- taking care of yourself and I've always been very physical."
He recalls even as a small boy of about eight years old he was responsible for lighting the morning fire, hauling wood and melting ice in the water bucket, as his father had to walk five miles to work for the railroad each morning. In the summertime it was gardening and then when it came time to attend school, it was a four-mile walk with packs of timberwolves in the bush along the way.
When Lougheed was 15 years old his father asked him if he wanted to continue his schooling or go to work and Lougheed said work.
"And when I got hired on at the Canadian Pacific Railway, boy, did they put me to work, I'll tell you," said Lougheed. "That shows you how physical my life was from practically day one right through to working on the railroad continuously for 46 years - 19 years for Canadian Pacific and 27 years for BC Rail and in 1995 I retired and then went right into power walking at the Senior Games."
He said he's always been a competitor.
"When I worked on the railroad I always wanted to drive more spikes in a day than anybody else, change more ties than anybody else and I've always been that way," said Lougheed.
Music is a big part of each day, too.
"Every morning I get up and my energy is high and I grab that guitar and play those songs," said Lougheed, who's memorized more than 100 songs to sing at senior's centres and retirement homes.
"I love entertaining people."
Some of Lougheed's secrets to a high energy lifestyle include:.
n dancing twice a week, three hours each time;
n hardly ever sitting down to eat. "I always eat on the fly, I'm too busy to sit down," said Lougheed.
n drink lots of water - up to a dozen glasses a day, Lougheed advises, and he's got a juicer and drinks carrot juice every day.
"Bottom line is get your basics every day," said Lougheed. "Lots of fruits and vegetables - I'm a real fruit hound and go through lots every day. Blueberries are my favourite. I was born and raised on blueberries and my mom would can jars and jars of them to carry us right through the winter. I eat as many as six boiled eggs a day. And, of course, an apple a day keeps the doctor away."