Homecare physiotherapy patient and former POW, Arthur Legget, shared his secrets to a long life with our physiotherapist Lincoln Smith on turning 100. What a legend!
When did you start with Homecare Physio? Can you remember why you started?
“2 or 3 years ago Mount Lawley rehab centre thought it would be a good idea so I thought ‘Yes, it will keep a man in line and make him do a bit of exercise here and there.’”
What advice would you give others that want to live to 100 years old?
“I’ve always listened to my doctors and physios. I make sure I eat well – meat and vegetables for dinner, custard and fruit salad for sweets. And I have always stayed active. I have run marathons, completed the Avon Decent and a few other crazy things. – I’ve done all the things males do as they strut around the garden of life to show off their feathers – I also don’t drink to excess, but I still enjoy a drink when with friends. Oh, and don’t die!”
What does your normal routine involve?
“I’m always up around 7:30 in the morning, have breakfast, do my morning exercises and then see what crops up for the day. I’m always trying to stay busy. I watch TV with dinner and try to be in bed at 9:30 each night.”
How much exercise do you do per day?
“I’ve timed this, I normally do 35 minutes of exercise in the morning and 35 minutes in the afternoon. I try and at least do at least an hour every day.”
So, at 100 years old, you’re doubling the daily recommended exercise?
“Yes, I guess I am.”
What is the most amazing invention in your lifetime?
“I’ve seen the first man fly the Pacific Ocean and the first man to fly on the moon. I’m not quite up to date on all of the modern gadgets, I have a mobile phone but it normally stays in my bedroom draw. I can send emails but you won’t find me on Facebook, I’ve been left behind!”
What is your greatest achievement?
“Leaving behind a legacy that will last at least another 100 years, I raised $40 000 for the Ex-Prisoners of War memorial in Kings Park which has been adopted by Mount Lawley Senior High School. I also managed to convince my wife to marry me, she was a wonderful woman who helped shape my life.”
What was your first memory?
“Starting school, I lived in NSW and dad was the town bootmaker. I remember walking to school every day. It was a great place to grow up!”
When you were a prisoner of war, did you ever think that you would live to be 100 years old?
“No – I only focused on living through the next day. I unsuccessfully tried to escape a couple of times but there was no-where to go that wasn’t occupied by the Germans.”
What does a 100 year old do for fun?
“I like to write poems, I’m a member of the Bush Poets and Yarn Spinners Club. I like to phone my friends up to talk to them and keep in touch.”
What do you do to stay mentally active?
“I’m aware of the possibility of becoming mentally dull and uninteresting. I want to start another project to keep myself on my toes. I’m thinking of trying to learn the keyboard, I’ll have to find a tutor.”
What is the plan for the next 100 years?
“Still endeavour to be an interesting old man, I still want to challenge myself mentally and physically and maintain my health as best I can. I don’t want to become a problem for anyone! I’m not frightened of dying though, I want to make the most of the time I’ve got left.”