Forget second acts. Jim Owen, who turns 80 on Oct. 20, is capitalizing on his third. His new documentary film, “The Art of Aging Well,” is the culmination of what he describes as his purpose and his legacy: Inspiring older adults to become healthier and more active.
“We’re experiencing a health care crisis that no one talks about, and it’s not the second wave of the pandemic: We are a nation of couch potatoes, and it’s literally killing us,” says Owen, who lives in San Diego.
The film ran on Wyoming PBS, Rocky Mountain PBS and will be available to PBS member stations through the National Educational Telecommunications Association starting Oct. 31.
In a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers predicted that nearly half of Americans will be obese by 2030. Owen adds that health experts have long known that being physically fit substantially reduces the risk of serious chronic illnesses such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer, and most of us have much more control over the aging process than we think.
Owen firmly believes that how we age is largely up to us: While we can’t help getting older, we don’t have to get old.
Driven to succeed
Growing up in Lexington, Ky., Owen played recreational football, basketball and baseball, and lifted weights, too, all in the shadow of his older brother, a star athlete. But after graduating from college, he spent the next 30-plus years doing no exercise at all as he built a successful investment career on Wall Street, including publishing the bestselling book, The Prudent Investor’s Guide to Hedge Funds.
“I got lucky; I was blessed and had a very rewarding career. But anyone can make money; it’s much harder to make a difference,” says Owen, who reinvented himself