99-year-old WWII veteran inspires others with active lifestyle

Andrea Blanford Image
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
99-year-old veteran inspires with active lifestyle
99-year-old veteran inspires with active lifestyle

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Nat Hines would show up at the Five Points Center for Active Adults at 7 a.m., but the City of Raleigh facility for individuals 50 years and better doesn't open until 9 a.m.

Like clockwork, the 99-year-old is there three days a week, in his track suit with gym bag in hand, running through his workout that consists of cardio, weights, and core-strengthening exercises.

"Somebody asked me the other day, 'How do you move around so good?' I said, 'I exercise!'" Hines said.

With a father and grandfather who lived well into their 90s, Hines said his physical and mental fitness could have something to do with good genes, but it's also willpower.

WATCH: At 99, WWII veteran is a fitness enthusiast and an inspiration

"Keep the body active," he said. "Don't sleep too much, don't relax too much. Use your body -- it's supposed to be used. That's what I understand. And I find out the more I use my body the better I feel. And it helps the mind, too."

The World War II veteran had to get his parents to sign off on him enlisting in the Army when he was 20 years old. He was in Germany when the war ended and was en route to Japan when the U.S. bombed Hiroshima.

Hines said his military training and natural athletic ability has stayed with him all these years, helping him stay fit, but even he has days when he doesn't feel motivated.

"I say, I'm going to put it off until tomorrow," Hines said. "That little voice will come and say 'you get out of here and go exercise!'"

Jennifer Tabery, Director of the Five Points Center for Active Adults, said Hines has been motivating others at the center by showing up no matter the elements.

"If we're a second late unlocking the front door, he's there ready to go and lets us know," Tabery said. "Every now and then, we'll have somebody that's new that has met him and they'll come and they'll say, 'Did you know that man's 99? And he's killing it in the fitness room.'"

Having outlived one wife, and then another, all of his siblings, and even his daughters, Hines said he'll keep coming to the gym multiple times a week.

"Just as long as I can move," he said.

And if you're considering throwing in the towel on your New Year resolution, Hines has a word of encouragement for you:

"Don't do that," he said. "Don't give up. No, that's the wrong thing to do. There's always hope."