T H E E D M O N T O N S U N • T h urs d a y , J u l y 6 , 2006

life sty le 37

Suzuki still working out at 70

Nature boy stays buff

EDITOR: Sally Johnston

PHONE: 468-0115

FAX: 468-0139 E-MAIL: sjohnston@edmsun.com

Suzuki figures he burns about 600 calories in half an hour while reaching a heart rate of 140 beats per minute. After that, he performs several dozen reps of ab exercises – including crunches and leg lifts – for his six-pack. CARY CASTAGNA The extensive ab routine, developed after one of his daughters told him he had a “one-pack,” includes 70 consecutive reps of an exercise in which he lies on his back Dr. David Suzuki calls exercise his med- and rotates his legs in a cycling motion icine. while alternately twisting an elbow toAnd the 70-year-old environmentalist wards the opposite knee. doesn’t like to do without it. Next, he does a variety of shoulder ex“If I don’t get to the gym, I haven’t taken ercises with 10-pound dumbbells, which he my medicine,” he says in a phone inter- says help strengthen ligaments in his left view from his office at the David Suzuki shoulder that he tore five years ago while Foundation in Vancouver. snowboarding. “The body is really made to exercise. It Suzuki wraps up his workout with eight amazes me even at 70 years old that the minutes of stretching and another 20 minbody needs to be worked.” utes on the cross-trainer. And work it he does. The third-generation Japanese-CanaAt five-foot-nine and a solid 180 pounds, dian, who taught in the University of Althis senior citizen is buff. berta’s genetics department as an assistant professor in 1962-63, opts for mostly orFig leaf ganic foods and locally grown Remember the publicity fruits and veggies when photo that Suzuki posed for in they’re in season. 1999 while wearing a strategiNot surprisingly, he stays cally placed fig leaf? away from fast foods and alThe internationally recohol. nowned host of CBC-TV’s The “People have to realize Nature of Things was at it again that their health is directly this year, showing off the fruits related to what they put in of his labour. their body,” he explains. Prior to launching the 47th “It’s not enough to say, season of the current affairs tel‘How much is it?’ evision series last month, Su“You’ve got to ask, ‘Where zuki posed for two more nearly did it come from? Is it ornude shots – one as a globe-totDavid Suzuki ganic? What chemicals are in ing Atlas, wearing a brown mait?’ You’ve got to make deci‘You try’ ple leaf, and the other as Susions on an informed basis. perman in a red cape and blue People aren’t informed.” undershorts – making countless men half Although it may not be a popular conhis age envious. cept for beef-loving Albertans, Suzuki limBut the celebrated scientist, who was re- its his intake of red meat, which he says is cently in Edmonton promoting his latest loaded with chemicals – unless of course book, modestly shrugs off compliments it’s organic. about his physique. He prefers to eat bison, range-fed “When you’re 70 years old, you can’t chicken and plenty of fish. ever say you’re in great shape, but you try to stave off old age,” he says. Careful eater “The older you get, basically the tougher But he won’t touch farmed salmon, as it is to fight off gravity. Every little piece of well as any species on the endangered fat is trying to pull downwards.” In his battle against gravity, Suzuki says list, such as bluefin tuna, swordfish and he hits a fitness centre or YMCA three to Chilean sea bass. “If you care about your health, then I four times a week. He was once an avid runner who logged don’t think you can help but be an enviup to eight miles a day, five days a week – ronmentalist because you’ve got to wonder what you’re putting in your body,” he adds. until his knees gave out. Listen to the good doctor. Now he sticks to the more joint-friendly And don’t forget to take your medicine. elliptical machine, sweating it out for 30 – Do you have an inspirational story for Keeping Fit? Eminutes to start each workout. mail Cary Castagna at ccastagna@edmsun.com

– File photo

David Suzuki launched the 47th season of The Nature of Things with this photo.