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Dr. Fauci Reveals His Exercise Secrets for a Long and Active Life

How America's leading infectious disease expert keeps fit and healthy in his 80s.
FACT CHECKED BY Alex Daniel
Doctor Anthony Fauci

His accomplishments include leading the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for nearly 40 years, spearheading the fight against HIV/AIDS, and personally guiding the whole of America through the daily uncertainty of a global pandemic. But Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., America's leading expert on infectious diseases, is also a fitness enthusiast and former competitive runner who has successfully entered his ninth decade and knows a thing or two about what it takes to live a long, energetic, and healthy life.

Recently he sat for a Zoom interview with The New York Times' health columnist Jane Brody—an octogenarian herself—to discuss how he stays balanced and lives a healthy life when no one is watching. Curious to know how Dr. Fauci keeps going strong? Here are some of the choice morsels he revealed. And for more exercise tips for living longer, see how This 7-Minute Walking Trick Can Add Years to Your Life, Says New Study.

1

A Former Distance Runner, Dr. Fauci Is an Avid Power Walker at Night

headphones and running shoes

When the pandemic first arrived, Dr. Fauci said he—like so many Americans—found that he was no longer prioritizing his fitness. "In the late winter, early spring of 2020, I got so involved in the urgency of the situation that I was not sleeping more than four hours a night. I wasn't eating, I wasn't drinking water. And it really took my wife to me and say, 'Hey, you know, this is going to be a marathon,'" he revealed to Brody. "You really got to pace yourself. Because if you think you're in a sprint, you're going to burn out fast."

So he immediately changed his ways. "I've been pretty attentive," he went on. "I've been a runner all my life. I've run multiple marathons. I've run a lot of 10Ks. I don't do that now because I'm 80 years-old, but I do go out for a good three to four mile power walk. Every night, I try as best as I can to get those walks every night." And if you're a walker, yourself, make sure you're aware of the Secret Tricks for Walking Your Way to a Flatter Stomach, Say Experts.

2

He Practices Self-Discipline and Has a Strong Support System

Dr Anthony Fauci
Courtesy of The State Of New Jersey

"I've been a very disciplined person all my life," he said. "As a practicing physician, when I take the care of patients, I'm very compulsive about making sure you do everything right. As a scientist, I was the same way. You've got to focus on what your mission is, what your goal is, what your mandate is. And if you let those other things distract you, you're just not going to be as efficient. I'm anchored pretty well, but, you know, I have a wife who is extremely helpful in keeping me, you know, tied to reality as opposed to going off."

3

He Lives Life in Moderation

Woman on bed wake up stretching in bedroom with alarm clock at 6.00 a.m. morning. Biological Clock healthcare lifestyle concept

"Take care of yourself, get some reasonable sleep, don't get overcome by stress," he told Brody. "Enjoy life, but don't do things in excess. Exercise is really important. I think that the fact that I've been a marathon and 10K runner for the last multiple decades has been very important in my staying fit, looking fit, and feeling fit."

4

He Keeps Following His Passions

Man writing a to do list while also on his tablet computer
Shutterstock

"I absolutely don't have any plans to retire because we're right in the middle of a pandemic," he said. "I don't know what I do after, but I like to write. I'm a pretty good writer. I think when I do retire, I will likely write a few books and maybe do some columns because I do like writing. So that's, it is a memoir in the office. Absolutely." And for more tips for flourishing well into old age, make sure you're avoiding the Surprising Habits That Are Rapidly Aging Your Body, Say Experts.

William Mayle
William Mayle is a UK-based writer who specializes in science, health, fitness, and other lifestyle topics. Read more
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