Sat, Sep 20, 2014 - Page 4 News List

Centenarian says cycling keeps him healthy and strong

By Lee Li-fa and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Wu Tzu-hsiu, 101, rides his bicycle in Pingtung County last Sunday. Despite his age, Wu rides his bicycle everyday and is still very agile.

Photo: Lee Lee-fa, Taipei Times

Not all elderly people are confined to their bed or home, surrounded by a gaggle of nurses, as evidenced by a veteran in Pingtung, Wu Tzu-hsiu (武自修), who remains hale and hearty at 100.

Born on Jan. 1, 1914, in China’s Henan Province, Wu joined the army at 16 — an experience that he said made him strong and independent.

Wu settled in Pingtung City after retiring from the air force as a master sergeant. He has never married and has maintained the lifestyle of a military man, including using wastewater from washing his face and brushing his teeth to flush the toilet.

His neighbor, a woman surnamed Luo (羅), said she was especially impressed at how Wu has kept up his habit of cycling every morning.

“Wu carries his identification card with him wherever he goes because no one really believes that he could be a centenarian and still cycle around,” Luo said.

Wu said his vision is still clear and his voice remains strong. Aside from a little difficulty hearing, he is as fit as a fiddle.

Although he owns a scooter, Wu said he does not use it much, preferring to rely on his bicycle.

He only uses the scooter to visit friends who live far from him. However, as the years went by and more of his friends succumbed to old age, he now just bikes around for exercise.

He avoids traditional markets because of the crowds, as his reflexes are not as good as before, he said, adding that he usually cycles to the convenience stores nearby to buy groceries.

Wu said he does not have any “secrets” to staying fit and strong, only leading a simple life.

Neither does he follow any specific diet, eating both meat and vegetables, he said.

He has also kept the same schedule as he did in the military, waking up at 5am and sleeping by 10pm, as well as exercising and drinking lots of water.

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