How many push-ups can you do?

Inspiration came to Herbert Selva Kanagasabai, of Melbourne, when he was reading an article by a professor of kinesiology.

As a healthy 80-year-old, he wondered if he could do 80 push-ups… far more than the article suggested would be likely. He decided to give it a go and use his challenge to raise funds for Alzheimer’s research, after seeing the impact of the disease on families of friends and colleagues.


The Build Up

“I generally keep myself fit, doing about 25 push-ups a day, but I had to step it up a little bit to do this,” Herbert said. He allowed a timeframe of six months in which to try and build up to 50.

He emailed his friends, family, former rugby teammates and colleagues and asked for $1 per push-up. “I think most of them thought I might make it to 30 push-ups!”

His push-up challenge was filmed for posterity, and he was surprised and thrilled to raise an incredible $6101 for the ARA, formally known as the Australian Alzheimer’s Research Foundation.

“I didn’t think it would go up so much.”


Staying Fit

In his youth, Herbert had been an athlete and rugby player at St Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia, Sri Lanka (then Ceylon), later captaining the district side Dimbula and representing the national team during the 1960s.

He encouraged people to keep up their fitness as they age, pointing out that as you get older, it is easier to stay fit than to get fit. Plus, it was good for the joints and flexibility.

“I try to maintain my level of fitness and my weight, and I find it difficult to sleep if I don’t walk for at least an hour or exercise,” he said.


Thank you Herbert, for all you have done for Alzheimer’s’ Research Australia!