(Charlie Archambault for USN&WR)
That's not to say that Miller—like most everyone who reaches her age—has not faced physical hurdles. She broke her hip falling down some stairs and, after a short stint in a nursing home, rehabbed it herself, at home. "I sat in the La-Z-Boy, and every five or 10 minutes I walked to the stove and back. I kept saying, 'Ouch,' but after a while I didn't say, 'Ouch,' anymore. I realized I've got two choices: I'm going to live or die, and in order to live, I'm going to have to lift my leg." (Nor did she want to have to instruct people about the importance of exercise from a wheelchair.) Avoiding alcohol and tobacco and eating moderately, as well as putting fitness first, have kept her healthy and happy, Miller says. On some of her nonteaching days, she goes to the local senior center to exercise, and on Mondays, "I get to the club at 6 a.m. The body comes first. The house will still be there when you're dead and gone."
[Check out the latest clues on how exercise helps stave off the diseases of aging.]
Next: Elsa Brehm Hoffmann, 102