Erie County Stay Fitness Program

By Richard Derwald,
Senior Fitness/Wellness
Consultant Erie County

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Most people have a personal idol, someone the admire and respect above all others. My personal idol happens to be a retired Professor of Medicine at Stanford University Dr. Walter Bortz. He is a former co-chairman of the American Medical Association's Task Force on Aging, past President of The American Geriatrics Society and is Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board for the Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation. His research focuses on the importance of physical and mental stimulation during the process of aging. Bortz has written 150 scientific articles for research publications such as JAMA, Annals of Internal Medicine, and Journal of Biological Chemistry, as well as articles in The New York Times, The New England Journal of Medicine and the American Journal of Public Health.


He has written eight books including We Live Too Short and Die Too Long and Dare to be 100. At age 93 he remains a living testimonial to the wisdom he has taught over the past 50 years. Bortz has completed 45 marathons while advocating the correlation between exercise and longevity. He remains firmly convinced that regular, sustained vigorous exercise, a healthy balanced diet, mental stimulation, social interaction and a maintaining a tranquil mind are the keys to living 100 years and beyond in good health.

"Use it or lose it," he said. "My mantra is '100 healthy years.' Our birthright, our warranty is 100 healthy years if we don't screw it up. At age 93 Dr. Bortz has only 7 years to go and his prediction will be fulfilled. Somehow, I know he will reach and surpass his targeted goal. He is also a bit of a poet this is an example of one of his sonnets - To claim a long life you you’ve got to be bold

But you’ve got to be smart as well as have heart

If you want your whole story to be told.


April 12th marked the 100th birthday for Ann Constantino who for the last 16 years served as the Erie County Fitness Group Leader (CLUB 99) at the North Buffalo Senior Center on Sanders Road in Buffalo NY. Last year Ann was named Honorary President of this county wide senior fitness program. During the past decade she has become the CLUB99 poster girl serving as an inspiration to all proving that a wellness lifestyle as defined by the books and lectures of Dr. Walter Bortz can result in a life extending, vigorous, healthy and happy life. If ‘seeing is believing’ you need to look no further than Ann Constantino Erie County’s Wonder Woman.

For more information on CLUB99 or any of the LIVE WELL ERIE programs for older adults’ call (716) 858-8526