Charles Fultz didn't start working out until he was 70.
Twenty years later, the Lisle man is still a dedicated member of Lisle Park District's Community Park Fitness Center, where he can be found three times a week walking the treadmill, lifting weights and doing resistance training.
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"It makes me feel better," says Fultz, who celebrated his 90th birthday on Dec. 17. "It's camaraderie."
Fultz particularly enjoys Saturday mornings when he gathers with other fitness club members after his workout.
"We sit down, have a cup of coffee and try to solve all the world's problems," he says.
Fultz is the club's oldest member and well-regarded, says Jeff Gusel, fitness center attendant.
"He's in good shape because he keeps up a regular schedule," Gusel says. "(He's a) responsible, honest man, full of integrity."
Fultz attributes his longevity to good genetics (his mother lived to almost 99), clean living and exercise.
A sciatic nerve got him into the exercise part of the equation. To deal with the pain, he saw a chiropractor who wanted him to improve his posture. The chiropractor came with him to the fitness center to help him develop an exercise routine.
Fultz has been at it ever since, adding a couple other exercises over the past year after asking a personal trainer to review his routine. He spends an hour and a half on a workout.
"I have a clipboard and I check off the exercises I do," he says.
Fultz admits to falling off his routine a bit during Christmas week and during multiple birthday celebrations, including one at the fitness center.
"I had so many cakes, I couldn't count them all," he says.
But for the most part, Fultz stays with a diet designed to keep him fit. His late wife, a nutritionist, always cooked healthy meals and he avoids fatty foods, he says.
At a smidgen over 5 feet 10 inches, he weighs 165 pounds -- 25 pounds less than when he retired in 1987.
"It's about what I came out of the army at, but my waist wasn't as small," he says.
A Kansas farm boy, Fultz enlisted in the Army Air Corps on Dec. 3, 1942, and rode in the first B-29 that flew overseas.
"I was a radar operator," he says.
He spent about a year in India during the war and then was transferred to Mariana Islands in the Pacific Ocean. Only after Japan surrendered did he learn the planes carrying the atomic bombs dropped on Japan took off from the islands.
After the war, Fultz attended Kansas State University on the GI Bill. He joined Swift & Company and after several transfers, ended up in Chicago where he retired as the senior project engineer.
Fultz is in better shape now than when he retired, says his son, David, one of Fultz's family of five children, 13 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
"I would categorize him as a workaholic," David says, remembering his father's career. "There was a lot of travel involved and long hours."
Fultz says he's as busy as ever, but David says his father's attitude is more laid-back. A resident of Lisle since 1973, Fultz serves as a trustee at Faith United Methodist Church, delivers Meals on Wheels, plays golf and drives friends to doctors' appointments.
"He has a very positive attitude. Nothing seems to disturb him too much," David says. "His mind is active as well as his body."
Fultz's dedication to fitness has set an example for others, his son says.
"He's been a hero of ours," David says. "It has encouraged the rest of the family to watch what they eat, get a routine."
Fultz doesn't preach fitness, but he lives it. Asked if he has any New Year's resolutions, he says he has only one.
"Just keep going with what I'm doing," he says.