DAYTON -- Sarah Deets, 95, is a retired physical education and elementary school teacher who knows the value of regular exercise and diet.
What she does: Deets walks 1 to 2 miles a day around the grounds of 10 Wilmington Place to stay in shape for her beloved annual excursions across the world.
"My husband and I lived on three acres, and I walked there -- that was one of the best habits I ever got into. When we moved here four years ago, I continued to walk."
How exercise keeps her healthy: Before her husband's death in 2008, the couple traveled almost every year, visiting all states, plus trips to such places as Canada, Australia, and England.
"Friends often asked how we could afford it, but we worked our tailbones off to put money in our travel fund," Deets said.
Always ready for adventures, she continues her annual trips with her daughter, Jean Moran and son-in-law Kenneth Bar-nett. They've been to South America and to the Mediterranean, and recently returned from this year's six-week trip to Hawaii, Japan and China.
"In Beijing, we walked and walked in the Forbidden City, and when we went to the Great Wall, we had to climb tall stairs, often without a railing," Deets said. "So many Chinese wanted their pictures taken with me, especially when they found out my age. I kept up with the group, even when we walked to the top of old shrines."
In addition to Beijing, the China trip included Xi'an, Shanghai, and a cruise down the Yangtze River.
"During the entire trip, I 'walked the walk,' without assistance or a wheelchair," Deets said.
She also exercises her mind. Deets received her master's degree in education in Wright State University's first graduating class.
"I've always loved to read and learn," she said. "I'm a member of the College Women's Club, and we meet every month at the Dayton Women's Club. I still attend the meetings, and was assistant treasurer for 12 years."
And, she adds: "I still play the stock markets."
Consistency in exercise and diet: The day after Thanksgiving, when it was so cold and windy outside, Deets put on her coat, bundled up, and walked.
"I thought I'd just walk around the promenade once, but went my usual four times," she said. "I don't feel right if I don't walk every day."
She also notes, "I eat whatever I want, but don't overeat. I love salads, fruits and vegetables, but also love meat and desserts. I just stop when I'm full."
Observations from her son-in-law: "Having no or few gray hairs and a full set of healthy teeth is quite amazing at 95," said Barnett, 74. "The only thing I can think of, other than having good genes, is that she eats well and is a consistent walker. I'm trying to emulate some of her habits."
Her advice to others: "It's so simple to travel, and to love life and enjoy it. Retired folks need to get up and move every day, not just sit around and play cards. On our trip, I saw people in wheelchairs, but they were still traveling -- it's so simple to travel.
"As Rosalind Russell said, 'Life is a banquet' - you just have to get out and do it."
And, like Deets, it's best to be in shape, prepared to enjoy the feast.