The Plank Challenge: A 90-Year-Old Newington Man vs. a TV Reporter (Guess Who Wins?)

Print icon

Ninety-year-old Manny Becker chatted easily as he held his plank position for nearly two minutes. Beside him, 51-year-old Jim Altman, Fox 61 news reporter, was having a harder time doing the abdominal exercise and ultimately gave up at 90 seconds.

The two had the impromptu competition when the newsman and a film crew stopped by the GoodLife Fitness Center at Jerome Home in New Britain recently.

Becker and his wife, Margaret, live in Newington, and have been members of the GoodLife Fitness program since it opened in 2007. He joined the program following hip replacement and now they both exercise twice weekly under the individualized instruction of Maquita Sellers, exercise physiologist.

Benefits are evident from the moment he wakes up, Becker said, because it motivates him to get out of bed – and makes it easier for him to rise. The regular exercise has helped him maintain his strength, balance and endurance while increasing his activity level as compared with fellow retirees. Their specialized routines, including pedaling more than a mile on an exercise bike, are modified monthly to build strengths and keep the exercise interesting. As his wife walked toe-to-toe along a line on the floor, he lay on his back bouncing – and catching – a ball off the wall. “You’ve got to keep that blood moving,” he said.

With more than 60 years of marriage, three children, three grandchildren and a long career as an engineer at Fafnir Bearing, Becker said he enjoys participating in the fitness program with his wife.

“We both reinforce each other,”  he said.

Exercising at GoodLife Fitness program, Becker said, “keeps me physically mobile and able to do the things I like to do.”

Sellers said the couple continues to impress him with their abilities. “The objective is to live a good life, whatever their individual goals are, even at age 90,” she  said. “That’s what we’re continually working toward.”

Learn more about the Good Life Fitness Program here

What's New

Men: ED Treatment Sound Too Good To Be True? It Probably is.

If you were among the 50 percent of adult males between the ages of 40 and 70 with erectile dysfunction, would you pay thousands of dollars for shock-wave treatment, which has uncertainties about long-term effectiveness and safety? Would you be concerned that it is not FDA-approved? You should be. More...

Rx for Health Program Adds Healthy Options for Winter Season

Thanks to a partnership with the Norwich ShopRite and United Community and Family Services (UCFS), Backus Hospital’s successful Rx for Health Program to help fight childhood obesity is now available during the winter months. Nine years ago, staff at the hospital identified obesity as a top health concern as part...

Radiation Safety: What You Need to Know Before Imaging Tests

If your physician orders imaging services for you — whether X-ray, MRI, CT Scan or PET scan — you might wonder how safe is it to be exposed to radiation. Radiation safety is an important part of the health care process, closely regulated by medical physicists. At Hartford HealthCare, that...

Weight Loss? Improved Sleep? Yes, After This Free Diabetes Prevention Program.

Weight loss, improved sleeping, fewer medical problems and feeling better overall are among the benefits participants are reporting after completing the Southington Community YMCA’s free Diabetes Prevention Program, a 12-week series incorporating health education and exercise. The Southington Community YMCA, in collaboration with Hartford HealthCare, has been offering the program since...