Centenarian Amazes with Daily Exercise Regimen
When exercise and nutrition become your lifestyle, your mind and body reward you. There are wonderful short term benefits, like increased metabolism, improved moods, and better quality sleep. The long term benefits like durability aren’t too bad either – just ask Kingsport, Tennessee resident Bob Miller: “I’m 102 years old and I usually get up about 6 am and hike 2.25 miles. I usually walk a bit more in the afternoon to get to my goal of 3 miles a day. It keeps me healthy. Exercise is good for you and walking is something that everyone can do.”
Most days you can see Bob hiking at Bays Mountain Park, or at the Kingsport Greenbelt, a linear park that connects residential neighborhoods. He recently led a 27 member quarterly Old Timers Hiking Group, is actively involved in his church, and hops in his Toyota Rav 4 to drive himself to the local Wal-Mart when he needs groceries.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, he volunteered at the city of Kingsport by leading prospective residents on tours that highlighted the area’s attractions. Bob’s commitment to health, exercise, and community align with the mission of Healthy Kingsport, a non-profit organization promoting wellness in Kingsport and the surrounding areas.
“I’m 102 years old and I usually get up about 6 am and hike 2.25 miles. I usually walk a bit more in the afternoon to get to my goal of 3 miles a day. It keeps me healthy. Exercise is good for you and walking is something that everyone can do.”
A Million Miles and More
When Healthy Kingsport partnered with Walker Tracker to introduce the Million Mile City Challenge, Bob was raring and ready to go. “Back in 2017, my family gave me a FitBit, and over time I discovered that I had walked over 200 miles in 6 months. The city of Kingsport came in with the Million Mile City challenge and I thought ‘I could do this’.” Walker Tracker allows Bob to track his steps and miles with relative ease. He’s since hiked over 1200 miles for three consecutive years, and walked the equivalent of the entire state of Tennessee, a feat he’s very proud of. “It gave me a lot of personal satisfaction, and personal satisfaction is a very motivating thing.”
A chemist by trade, Bob has a PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He retired after a lengthy career at Eastman Chemical Company in Kingsport. He was a long time member of the Tennessee Eastman Hiking and Canoeing Club, and through TEHCC he has enjoyed hiking and sightseeing trips to Switzerland, Wales, England, and Scotland, as well as a trip to California where he climbed Mt. Whitney at the ripe age of 71.
He and his wife married in 1943, and have two sons and two daughters (all of whom have earned graduate degrees), eight grandchildren, and ten great grandchildren. Clearly, Bob Miller has done some things right in his 102 years, but how has he done it? “It’s all about living a healthy lifestyle…and picking the right parents (Laughs). I feel like I’ve accomplished quite a bit for my age, so I am proud about that.”