Health and Wellness

80-year-old Dr. Fauci's advice for staying sharp and healthy as you age

National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci talks to reporters in Washington, DC.
Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images News | Getty Images

At 80, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading expert on infectious disease, credits his stamina to his longtime exercise routine and disciplined personality.

"I think that the fact that I've been a marathon and 10K runner for the last multiple decades has been very important in by staying fit, looking fit and feeling fit," Fauci told The New York Times' Jane Brody.

Fauci, also the White House chief medical advisor, has been a lifelong runner, but these days power walks three to four miles each evening, he said.

Fauci's health advice to others is pretty straightforward: "Take care of yourself and get some reasonable sleep," he said. "Don't get overcome by stress. Have a good diet."

A few things that Fauci doesn't recommend? "Don't smoke, don't drink too much," he said. "Enjoy life, but don't do things in excess."

At the start of the pandemic, Fauci said he was only sleeping four hours each night, and wasn't eating or drinking water.

"It really took my wife to shake me and say, 'Hey, this is going to be a marathon. You really got to pace yourself because if you think you're in a sprint, you're going to burn out fast," he said. Fauci hasn't taken a day off in 14 months, he said during an interview with Now This News published April 17.

Fauci said it's in his nature to be this dedicated to his job and lifestyle.

"It's just my general personality —I've been a very disciplined person all my life," Fauci told the Times. As a physician and scientist, he said he's "very compulsive about making sure you do everything right."

And retirement is off the table at the moment, Fauci told the Times. "I mean it's ridiculous to think about retiring, we've just got to get through this [pandemic]."

But when Fauci does eventually retire, he said he'd like to write books and columns.

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