Stay active and keep fit says 90-year-old Douglas

Douglas Mackintosh celebrates his 90th birthday.
Douglas Mackintosh celebrates his 90th birthday.
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MOST of us will be lucky to live until the age of 90, but for one Leeds resident, he is in his prime.

For Douglas Mackintosh, who still attends a sports centre three times a week, was honoured as he celebrated his 90th birthday.

The former film industry executive who fought in World War Two in the RAF as a navigator in Mosquitoes is still a regular at the gym.

He runs both outdoors and on the treadmill, and does in circuit training at the John Charles Centre for Sport in south Leeds.

Yesterday at Armley Sports Centre he was presented with a Leeds Athletic Institute t-shirt by former Olympic gymnast Dick Gradley.

Great grandfather Douglas, from Temple Newsam, said: “I used to train with Dick 50 years ago. I enjoy circuits, the treadmill and running outdoors, sometimes six or seven miles.

“The best advice I can give is to keep active and keep moving, which I have been doing since 1964. Back then it was lunch sessions at Jack Lane School in Hunslet.”

Some of the group are still in touch and meet up regularly.

Originally from Newcastle, Douglas moved to Leeds in 1959 to work for 20th Century Fox, then Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and later Rank, in film distribution.

Lifelong friend Malcolm Berwin said: “Douglas is an inspiration. He continues to push himself to keep fit and enjoy life. His fishing and his social life while caring for his daughter. He never complains about the difficulties in life including the loss of his wife, who he nursed for many years

“We have good laughs and reminisce about our times in the RAF much to the amusement of the younger ones at the gym. One of our jokes centres about wartime RAF when we were known as the Brylcreme boys. I bought him some Brylcreme for his birthday.

“When we do floor exercises, we help each other up, unlike earlier days when we could spring up.”

Keeping fit in older age:

At the age of 102, Fauja Singh is the world’s oldest runner. He still jogs every day near his home in West London. At the age of 89, after losing his wife and his son, Fauja decided to take up running. Since then, he has completed nine marathons, broken age-group world records in eight categories, and carried the Olympic torch.

Age UK says exercise can be beneficial, but always check with your doctor if starting a new regime.

Things like swimming, tai chi, pilates, yoga, martial arts, weights and toning classes are all suitable for older people.

Walking your way to health is also a free and accessible option for those who can get out.

Advice and more details at www.ageuk.org.uk.

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