70-Year Old Robert Drapkin, M.D., Debunks Aging Myths by Winning Bodybuilding Competition

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Proving that growing older doesn’t automatically mean one must lose physical activity and vitality, at the age of 70, Robert Drapkin, M.D., recently competed in—and won—the NPC Orlando Mid Florida Masters bodybuilding contest.

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Embracing physical activity is essential in anti-aging efforts. I’m living proof that as one ages, one can not only maintain vitality but increase it, as well.

A majority of seniors are physically inactive, with the Department of Health reporting that only 17% of men and 13% of women over the age of 65 are sufficiently active. However, maintaining an active lifestyle well into the golden years is conducive to healthy aging. Harvard University research shows that men who burn 2,000 calories a week via exercise, on average, live two-and-a-half years longer than men who are sedentary. (1) Robert Drapkin, M.D., board-certified physician in Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology and Palliative Care, proved that aging does not necessarily mean a deteriorating quality of life by competing in the NPC Orlando Mid Florida Masters and winning first place in the men over 70 years category. The NPC Orlando Mid Florida Masters was held on June 20 at Rosen Shingle Creek Ballroom in Orlando, Florida.

The average lifespan in the United States now ranges from 66.1 to 81.6 years for men, and 73.5 to 86 years for women. However, this is slowly slipping for women. In 2012, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, a health research center at the University of Washington, found that women’s lifespans in the United States not only are shorter in many U.S. counties than they were 20 years ago, but are also improving at a slower pace than men’s mortality rates. The gain in life expectancy should be equal among men and women. (2) Dr. Drapkin says that lack of physical activity in the elderly plays a factor.

Dr. Drapkin points out that adopting a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce individual expenditures on healthcare. Furthermore, the quality of health in the individual is connected to the economic health of the nation. The Kaiser Family Foundation’s 2013 Employee Health Benefits Survey found that since 2003, average annual premiums for employer-sponsored family coverage have increased by 80%. Furthermore, it is estimated by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that $3 of every $4 that employers spend on healthcare are used to treat chronic conditions including diabetes, obesity and hypertension. According to a Gallup study, the workforce absenteeism created by these conditions amounts to $153 billion in lost productivity for U.S. businesses every year. Furthermore, physically inactive adults create approximately over $900 in excess annual medical costs, per the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). (3)

“Many people believe growing older means one has to give up physical activity,” says Dr. Drapkin. “This couldn’t be further from the truth. Embracing physical activity is essential in anti-aging efforts. I’m living proof that as one ages, one can not only maintain vitality but increase it, as well.”

Inspired by his own unhealthy habits and his sick patients, Dr. Drapkin began his bodybuilding career well after the age of 50. Now, at 70, Dr. Drapkin is an active world-class bodybuilder. Dr. Drapkin has placed in the top five in six of the last seven shows in which he has participated, dating back to 2009. In 2011, Dr. Drapkin won the 2011 NPC Southern States Maria Bellando and Manuel Mair Championships. He has also won the 2014 Southeastern Competition Men Over 70 Years, the 2008 Tampa Classic Open Men Bantam Weight, the 2005 Southern States Competition Men Over 60 Years and the 2004 Tampa Classic Men Over 50 Years. The reason why Dr. Drapkin took up the activity is two-fold: Dr. Drapkin began bodybuilding to help improve his quality of life as he grew older, and in order to debunk myths regarding elderly fitness through example.

In addition to Dr. Drapkin’s traditional medical training and practice, he has decades of experience, research and study in the fields of diet and exercise which have proven very beneficial in helping patients to treat and prevent an array of medical conditions, and has helped many to lead happier, healthier and more active lives.

About Robert Drapkin, M.D., F.A.C.P.:

Robert Drapkin, M.D., is a healthcare provider who is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology and Palliative Care. He is in active practice, working to save lives and improve quality of life through education of his patients. He provides up-to-date knowledge and guides his patients through their illnesses, exercises and diets. He has been in active medicine practice for over 36 years. Dr. Drapkin is currently 70 years old, and started training as a bodybuilder when he was in his fifties. He has been a competitive bodybuilder for 17 years, and has won many titles and contests. He is currently in training for a national event in July, 2015.

1. Murphy, Sam. “Why It’s Never Too Late to Exercise”; The Guardian; June 11, 2009. theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2009/jun/11/exercise-over-65.

2. Lloyd, Janice. “Women Lag In Life Expectancy Gains”; USA Today; April 20, 2012. usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/story/health/story/2012-04-19/Life-expectancy-improves-slower-for-women/54419298/1.

3. “The Cost of Unhealthy Employees”; Gibson Blog; October 22, 2014. info.gibsonins.com/blog/the-cost-of-unhealthy-employees.

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