Dick Van Dyke Doesn't Act His Age – and Neither Should You! 89-Year-Old Urges Seniors to Keep Moving in New Book
At 89, Emmy, Tony and Grammy Award winner Dick Van Dyke can still do it all: sing, dance and act – just don’t ask him to act his age.
The veteran star of screen and stage will take his 90s by storm in December and he has no plans to slow down.
“I’m still singing and tap dancing,” he tells PEOPLE. (Not to mention hitting the gym daily.)
The star of The Dick Van Dyke Show, Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and, more recently, the Night at the Museum movies, is constantly asked for his secret to staying so spry, and now he’s giving away all the answers in his new book, Keep Moving: And Other Tips and Truths About Aging, due out Tuesday.
One of his key lessons when it comes to love, life and exercise is: It’s never too late.
“A person who’s 90 years old who’s never exercised can start doing a few minutes a day and all of a sudden he’ll find himself starting to wake up,” Van Dyke says. “It’s amazing how fast you can return. You get your heart rate up and you’ll feel a difference in no time.”
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The same goes for finding romance in your golden years. At 86, Van Dyke tied the knot with his late-in-life love, Arlene Silver, a makeup artist who is 46 years his junior.
“It’s not too late, any more than it’s never too late to start exercising,” he tells PEOPLE of falling in love. “I have a few friends who have always enjoyed living alone. But for some reason, that just isn’t the life for me. You gotta have somebody to love.”
Of course, opening your life to new possibilities increases your chances of heartache and disappointment – but it’s a risk Van Dyke is more than willing to take.
“If you’re openly trusting, you’re going to get hurt a few times. But it certainly is a better life than walking around in a paranoid position with your fist up all the time,” he says. “I’d rather take the risk of being hurt and being trusting – which in turn makes you trustworthy.”
“I value my trustworthiness,” he adds. “People know they can trust me, and that I’m dependable. That’s very satisfying to me.”
But for Van Dyke, nothing is more satisfying than singing and dancing – and he does both every chance he gets: onstage, at home and even at the grocery store.
“Singing is so great, there’s nothing like it. You can’t sing and be depressed at the same time. My wife is a good singer and dancer so there’s a lot of singing and dancing going on around here,” he tells PEOPLE. “I got up the other morning, she was in the kitchen doing the dishes and she had her tap shoes on, and she was tap dancing while she was doing the dishes!”
“That’s my kind of girl,” he adds with a laugh.
In his new book, Van Dyke encourages seniors to follow in his footsteps and find a hobby – any hobby – that makes them happy.
But whatever you do, he adds, don’t ever go down the stairs sideways.
“It feels better on your knees but that throws the hip and then the spine starts to go wrong and then the next thing you know, you fall down and break your hip and that’s it. So I said in the book, even if it hurts a little, go down the stairs straight.”
And of course, don’t forget to watch out for the ottoman.