It’s never too late to make a change and prioritise your health, and no one embodies this more than 86-year-old Stan White. By simply walking, the Juniper Rosemount retirement living resident has a remarkable journey that shows the power of making positive changes later in life.

Stan believes he is in better shape now than he was 25 years ago, and that becoming physically active has improved his physical and mental health.

“I didn’t even consider walking until my 70s,” Stan confessed, “Now I walk 6 kilometres, 4 to 5 days a week in Cottonwood Nature Reserve, next to my apartment,” said Stan.

But Stan’s life has been anything but ordinary. From a young age, he faced accidents and brushes with death, including being pulled unconscious from a river and being saved from dehydration in the desert. But it was his involvement in pyrotechnics that changed the course of his life dramatically.

“I accidentally blew myself up and the Royal Flying Doctor had to fly me to hospital. My lungs then stopped on the operating table; I survived but it left me with scars that testify to my survival and full functionality.”

As if that weren’t enough, Stan faced yet another monumental hurdle when he crushed his pelvis, presenting him with a difficult choice between prosthetic hips and natural healing.

Stan chose to heal naturally but as the years went by, the leg bone and pelvic bones fused together, and he needed a prosthetic hip to regain function. During the operation, Aura Staphylococcus entered his body, and he was rushed to ICU and spent days fighting for his life. Although he survived, he encountered significant challenges with his lungs.

“The hospital later told me that to improve my lung function I had to walk and exercise with weights, and that’s when I started my long walks and regular exercises. Now I know firsthand the importance of keeping active. I urge people to walk, walk, walk. It’s the best thing you can do!”

“I walk through the conservation area, and it changes every day. I reflect. It brings me a sense of peace and connection with the world around me. I am so grateful that I am still here today,” added Stan.

Beyond his personal achievements, Stan’s dedication extends to his community. He currently serves as the Chair of Council for the Uniting Church in the City, showcasing his commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of others.

As Men’s Health Week unfolds, Stan is one example of where a commitment to exercise as simple as walking can make a difference to one’s physical and mental health.

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