The RBG Guide to Aging

84 is the new 40 (PLEASE?).
March 15, 2017, 2:24pm
Marissa Goldman

Supreme Court Justice and regal meme Ruth Bader Ginsburg turns 84 today, which is news that might make you want to send her some birthday Emergen-C packets or human growth hormone vials.

Ginsburg is the oldest justice on the court by more than three years and many progressives are praying to their gods that she stays healthy for four—or gulp, eight—years of Trump. If she gets sick or retires, Trump would have the opportunity to tip the balance of the court in the conservative direction. (The court currently has four liberals, three conservatives, and one swing vote, plus conservative nominee Neil Gorsuch.)


Concern for her health is a normal reaction, but RBG is doing pretty damn well: She's a two-time cancer survivor with a legendary workout routine. A 27-year-old Politico reporter who tried it recently said it nearly broke him. Perhaps Ginsburg is so genetically blessed that she could smoke Slim Jims as cigarettes and still live well into her 90s, but here are some of the habits that could be helping to keep her healthy.

She can do more pushups than you
RBG does 20 pushups at home every day—no knees. She does 10, then rests and does 10 more. Twice a week, she works out with her trainer, Bryant Johnson. Her circuit includes a warmup and stretches, then bench press, hamstring curls, leg presses, chest flies, lat pulldowns, seated rows, single-leg squats, pushups, standard and side planks, wall squats with a stability ball, and box step-ups. Ginsburg and Johnson have worked together since she recovered from colon cancer in 1999. As she told the Washington Post in 2013: "I attribute my well-being to our meetings twice a week. It's essential." Earlier this year she said Johnson was the most important person in her life.

She enjoys wine
Ginsburg cited a "very fine California wine" served by Justice Anthony Kennedy as the reason why she dozed off during President Obama's 2015 State of the Union Address…and the 2013 one, too. She said the 2015 vino was "was an Opus something or other" and Opus only makes red wine; doctors believe that red wine, in moderation, is good for your heart. (For now, until some study says otherwise.)

She snacks well
Her favorite snack is fiber-filled prunes. Party.

She has a good attitude
A decade after Ginsburg had colon cancer, doctors caught pancreatic cancer early and treated her with surgery. At an event at Stanford University last month, Ginsberg said her mentality toward fighting cancer was "Never have a defeatist attitude…and 'I'm going to surmount this.'"

Speaking of surmounting, we wish her many, many, MANY more healthy years to come.

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