If there’s one habit George Mach can’t crack, it’s waking up well before dawn.

The 94-year-old is an early riser after years of waking up at 3 a.m. to drive a bus route. After he retired nearly 30 years ago, Mach substituted his bus route with a gym routine.

The Omaha man hits the gym three days a week. He strolls the upper level of Prairie Life Fitness and hops from machine to machine, stopping to greet and wave at friends. After 45 minutes of that, he heads to the pool for a water aerobics class.

Q: When did you start working out and why?

A: I started working out when I first retired in 1988. I was so used to waking up at 3 a.m. so I started walking. Then I’d come home and fix my wife, Blanche, breakfast. Next thing I knew, she dragged me to the gym. While she was in the pool with her friends, I went upstairs to work out.

Q: Describe your workouts. How many days per week do you exercise?

A: I have a bunch of machines I work on. I have a regular routine. I know how much weight to put on for my age. I get here early and work out, then go to the pool for a class.

Q: What is your current fitness goal?

A: I don’t have one. I weigh the same now as when I started. Just a habit is what it is. I don’t like to lay around at home any more than I have to. If I lived closer, I’d be here every day.

Q: What helps you stay on track?

A: Health. I’m healthy so far. With my age, you never know how long you’ll stay healthy.

Q: What is your gym pet peeve?

A: I don’t have one here. This is the best place in the world. It’s quiet here in the mornings. That’s why I like it.

Q: What do you do when you aren’t in the gym?

A: Whatever comes up. I do housework and watch television. I go visiting my friends and family.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who is just starting their fitness journey?

A: Just get in the habit of coming here, and you’ll enjoy it. Sometimes it’s a struggle, but you’ll get here, rain or shine or blizzard. I’ll miss it if I don’t come.

kelsey.stewart@owh.com, 402-444-3100, twitter.com/kels2

Kelsey covers health and fitness for The World-Herald. Follow her on Twitter @kels2. Phone: 402-444-3100.

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