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Yoga, Keto, and sobriety: How the Stones keep rolling (at the combined age of 308)
Posted by: Beast ()
Date: July 27, 2021 12:13

I haven't seen this been posted but am sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong!

Yoga, Keto, and sobriety: How the Stones keep rolling (at the combined age of 308)

After a lifetime of hell-raising, the Rolling Stones are fit enough to go back on tour. What do they know that we don't?

Of all the great unsolved mysteries in medicine, it is surely the most puzzling. And yesterday, as they announced the restart of their No Filter tour later this year, it cropped up again: why – or more precisely how on God’s green earth – are the Rolling Stones still going?

If that sounds crass, here follows an incomplete list of the band’s near-death escapes, notwithstanding the fact they have a combined age of 308…

For starters, all four have admitted to taking heroin, along with just about every other drug chemistry could bestow, and smoked for decades. Two, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts, have survived cancer – in Ronnie’s case, twice. A member of the Hell’s Angels once tried to assassinate Mick Jagger, only for the would-be killer’s boat to be swamped in a storm.

Other things on Mick’s ledger? He was almost thrown from a stallion he leapt on, not knowing how to ride it, and only saved himself by punching the horse in the head. He once crashed his Aston Martin DB6 into the Countess of Carlisle’s Ford Anglia. And he had heart surgery two years ago to replace an aortic valve.

Charlie reportedly survived a head-on collision himself, when his limousine driver fell asleep. And then there’s Keith Richards, the Houdini to their David Blaines. In 1965, “Keef” was knocked unconscious when he was electrocuted on-stage (he thanked his rubber soled-boots for his life).

Then he passed out with a lit cigarette in his hand at a rented villa in France with Anita Pallenberg in 1971, sending their bed up in flames. Two years later, they escaped another burning house. Then, in the 90s, he was standing on a chair in his library, reaching for a book about Leonardo da Vinci’s study of anatomy, when several bookshelves crushed him, resulting in three broken ribs. A decade later, he required brain surgery after falling 7ft from a palm tree in Fiji.

Oh, and I forgot to mention: in 1944, Keith and his mother escaped the bombings in London, returning to find a V1 bomb had been dropped on Keith’s cot. “All part of life’s rich pageant,” as he said, after the library fall. Quite.

A study once found that rock stars die 25 years younger than the average person, meaning that, collectively, the Stones possess more lives than a commercial cattery. Anybody who has seen them perform in concert, in recent years knows that Mick, Keith, both 77, Ronnie, 74, and Charlie, 80, have more energy than the current Top 40 artists put together, too.

So now they’re back on the road, let’s return to the original question: what health and fitness secrets do the Stones know that the rest of us don’t? Start me up, it’s time to find out.


Those trademark stage moves – you know, like a toddler desperately distracting himself in a toilet queue – are derided, but it’s probably helped Mick keep his 28-inch waist all these years.

It has been estimated that he covers 12 miles per night tottering from one side of the stage to another, and for that kind of output, he trains hard. After his heart surgery in 2019, a video quickly emerged of Mick’s rehab: prancing about in a dance studio, doing those Jagger moves. Who knew they were something he practiced?

Mick reportedly trains for three to five hours a day, often runs eight miles, and has a diet that resembles that of an athlete: chicken and fish, fresh fruit and veg, whole grains and legumes. He’s said to have tried the high fat, low-carb Keto diet before, and has eaten organic food since Jo Wood, Ronnie’s ex-wife, convinced them all of its virtues years ago.

The son of a PE teacher who lived to 93, exercise has always been central to his life. He has allegedly worked with the Norwegian personal trainer Torje Eike (whose other clients have included footballers, Olympic athletes and, um, Geri Halliwell) for more than 25 years.

“I train five or six days a week, but I don’t go crazy,” Jagger once said. “I alternate between gym work and dancing, then I do sprints, things like that. I’m training for stamina.”

As for drugs and cigarettes? No sir, long gone. He’s even cut down on booze. “It’s too debilitating to drink a lot, so I use other relaxation techniques…” Uh oh. “… I sit on my own, calm down, take stock.”


If Mick covers 12 miles in their three-hour sets, Keith’s entire step count is probably around four and a half. He is cool, taciturn lead guitarist, forever a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, often a mischievous grin on his face that seems to say, “Yeah, no idea how I’m still here, either.”

But he is. He’s 77 and looks double that, in the best way: every grey hair and line a story, that rasping voice a souvenir of a life well lived.

“[Keith’s] got an amazing constitution, he’s very strict on himself, in a funny way,” Charlie once said of his bandmate. “He never overdid the drugs. […] He would never do the whole lot at once. Most people who do that are dead. He has a very strong will to live.”

These days the band’s hell-raiser-in-chief is clean as a whistle. In interviews over the past two years, he said he hasn’t touched a cigarette since October 2019. “Done that, been there,” he explained.

It wasn’t easy: “Quitting heroin is like hell, but it’s a short hell. Cigarettes are just always there.” At that time his drinking was down to “a little wine with meals, and a Guinness or a beer or two.” Spirits he’d “knocked on the head.” Now he’s a non-drinker.

Not needing to stay quite as fit as Mick, he proudly doesn’t. In lockdown, he said, he has “a little work-out room in the basement. I treadmill occasionally but I had no need to during the summer because I’ve got a big garden. I took walks and kept moving.”

As for his diet? For decades, Keith has resolutely ordered shepherd’s pie before almost every gig. “You don’t want to eat anything solid,” he’s said. “It’s like baby food. Pure fuel.”


“I’m making every day count. Not wasting a moment,” Ronnie said in an interview last week. Despite being the baby of the band, at 74, he has every reason to be thankful. After smoking more than 30 cigarettes a day for 50 years, he was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2017. He made a full recovery after having part of his lung removed, but this year was diagnosed with small cell cancer. After “a lot of chemo and radiology” in lockdown, he’s now received the all-clear from that.

“I’m well. I’m strong. And I’m adaptable,” he says. “But it has taken a lot of fighting, a lot of stamina to get through it.”

Sober and clean, the father of six (including five year-old twins) now paints, meditates, does yoga and joins Keith in the pre-gig shepherd’s pie. Mick and Charlie have fish and veg.

“Somebody up there likes us,” he has said of the Stones’ longevity. “We just carry on and thank our lucky stars.”


If Keith’s the quiet man, Charlie’s practically mute. An ever-present on the drum kit since the band’s first solid lineup, he’s also the oldest, at 80. In 2004, he was diagnosed with throat cancer, despite quitting smoking in the 80s, but made a full recovery.

After his cancer, Mick’s personal trainer got to work with Charlie, setting a regime of sit-ups and stretching, to help with the fact his lymph-node removal had caused his upper body to be severely weakened.

Married to Shirley for 57 years, he was always cleaner-cut than the rest. Not that he didn’t get into everything – amphetamines, heroin, you name it. But he gave it all up, including booze, in middle age.

A fall was the catalyst. “I was drunk,” he said, “I slipped down the steps when I was in the cellar getting a bottle of wine. I happened to be booked for a jazz show at Ronnie Scott’s […] and it really brought it home to me how far down I’d gone. I just stopped – drinking, smoking, taking drugs, everything, all at once. I just thought, enough is enough.”

Thank God for that. And so on they roll.


Re: Yoga, Keto, and sobriety: How the Stones keep rolling (at the combined age of 308)
Posted by: Nikkei ()
Date: July 27, 2021 14:51

"7ft from a palm tree" at this point they long know it's wrong but shits and giggles

Re: Yoga, Keto, and sobriety: How the Stones keep rolling (at the combined age of 308)
Posted by: Topi ()
Date: July 27, 2021 15:49

Never let facts ruin a good story!

Re: Yoga, Keto, and sobriety: How the Stones keep rolling (at the combined age of 308)
Posted by: crawdaddy ()
Date: July 27, 2021 17:13

Nice article Beast.

Thanks for posting. smileys with beer

Re: Yoga, Keto, and sobriety: How the Stones keep rolling (at the combined age of 308)
Posted by: Send It To me ()
Date: July 27, 2021 18:20

Not that 12 miles nonsense again, ugh

Re: Yoga, Keto, and sobriety: How the Stones keep rolling (at the combined age of 308)
Posted by: More Hot Rocks ()
Date: July 27, 2021 18:25

I never understood the “combined age thing”. What’s the purpose of adding peoples ages. Why not combine their weight? It’s just as irrelevant.

Re: Yoga, Keto, and sobriety: How the Stones keep rolling (at the combined age of 308)
Posted by: jbwelda ()
Date: July 27, 2021 19:26

Needed to fill some column inches to get paid this week, obviously.

Heroin is safer than milk all things considered. Unless you are poor and strung out there is really nothing all that dangerous about it once you figure out your dosage and get a decent consistent dealer. The danger comes from struggling to meet your daily quota of whatever you do to get your drugs. Not a problem for the Rolling Stones. Coke will kill you but they won't say when; just a lot sooner than smack thats for sure


Re: Yoga, Keto, and sobriety: How the Stones keep rolling (at the combined age of 308)
Posted by: 24FPS ()
Date: July 27, 2021 20:20

Coke is something to give up by 50ish. God knows what it does to your heart, or how many we've lost from it that is kept quiet. I've always been curious about Heroin, but I've been lucky enough to avoid it. Just once I'd like to know what the big thrill is.

I quit cigarettes 40 years ago. I still got throat cancer, from HPV. (You're welcome, ladies). I rarely even smoke pot anymore. It's legal here in California and edibles are so much better.

I've never been able to fathom those who get high every day. It's supposed to be a novelty, not a career. But I haven't been in an addict's shoes, so I don't know what happens inside those poor souls. I've never been a drinker, but I've seen the damage it can do to others. Permanently. I think a lot of Keith's lines and wrinkles are from booze, the most destructive drug of all.

Re: Yoga, Keto, and sobriety: How the Stones keep rolling (at the combined age of 308)
Posted by: angee ()
Date: July 27, 2021 20:32

Thanks for the piece, Beast!

~"Love is Strong"~

Re: Yoga, Keto, and sobriety: How the Stones keep rolling (at the combined age of 308)
Posted by: peoplewitheyes ()
Date: July 27, 2021 21:38

What's the 'Jags punches out a horse' story all about?

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