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Voice of Experience

Voice of Experience: May 2024

What to Expect in Your 80's

Michael L Goldblatt


  • Take it from Ruth Bader Ginsburg, keeping up a workout regime can improve and prolong your life. 
What to Expect in Your 80's

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The 2018 documentary “Notorious RBG” tells the life story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one of the oldest serving jurists on the Supreme Court. Ginsburg’s longevity is attributed to her daily workout, which was recorded in the documentary and detailed in a book titled “The RBG Workout.” She began daily exercise in her 60’s and continued until passing at 87. Ginsburg’s workouts helped her recover from cancer, survive the death of her spouse, and remain on the bench until the end of her life. The hour-long workouts included curls, planks, push-ups, squats, stretching, and strength training.

Ginsburg did well in adopting a fitness regimen in mid-life. Staying fit can slow the aging process and overcome conditions that come with older age. By the 80’s, arteries get plaque, bones become brittle, cancer is more likely, organs lose vitality, and skin is easily bruised. Below are strategies for staying healthy during your 80s and beyond. For more information, see the list of resources that accompany this article. 


  • Balance – Declining balance may cause falls or injury. Reduce risk with aerobic and resistance exercises.
  • Cognition – Delay cognitive decline by staying physically and mentally active.
  • Death - it’s probable that you will die by 90, but a healthy lifestyle and medical care can help you live longer.
  • Disease – aging brings increased risk of chronic conditions (e.g. Arthritis, Cancer, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, etc.), but early detection and medicine can overcome their debilitating effects.
  • Endurance – Declining cardiovascular and pulmonary function may reduce stamina and require surgery or medication. Get annual checkups, exercise daily, and take naps.
  • Eyesight – Deteriorating eyes may require treatment to prevent blindness. Get your eyes checked annually.
  • Hearing – Hearing becomes harder at high frequencies and in noisy environments. See an audiologist for hearing aids and ask others to speak clearer, louder, and slower.
  • Immunity – Decreased immunity comes with aging. Ask your doctor about vaccinations needed to stay healthy (e.g. Covid, Flu, Pneumonia, RSV, Shingles, Tetanus, etc.).
  • Medication – More medications may be needed to treat age related decline. Avoid adverse side effects by asking doctors to substitute vitamins for drugs or reduce dosage.
  • Muscles – Mobility declines due to weak muscles and stiff joints. Exercise and consume high protein foods to maintain muscles and joints.
  • Orthopedics – Bones can become brittle and spines may shorten. Surgery may be needed for back, hips, or knees. Consult an orthopedist, exercise, and consider a daily dose of Vitamin D and Calcium.
  • Sleep – Aging may cause sleep difficulty. Ask your doctor to check for sleep apnea and do not eat meals or drink alcohol before bedtime.


Justice Ginsburg is a role model for healthy and resilient aging. She ate healthy foods, exercised daily, and stayed socially connected. Achieve longevity like Ruth - be active, avoid isolation, and eat fiber, fruits, and vegetables. Consult the articles, books, videos, and websites listed below to achieve well-being before and after your 80th birthday.