Fun, Fit and Healthy Stories

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Name: Grace
Age: 91
Location: California
Activity: Walking, Yoga, Tennis, Weight Lifting

 I started playing tennis and skiing in my forties. On a skiing trip, I broke a rib. The doctor said my spine was so bad he did not know how I did anything. I tried to stay active as long as possible. As the years passed, I developed bad back pain. The doctor said he could not help me, that I was too old. Also, I was diagnosed with emphysema. I could not breathe well and was wheezing. The doctor said I would never improve. I thought I would never climb stairs again. I tired easily. I tried an exercise program at a local medical center. For six weeks, I worked out three times a week, two to three hours a day. I did weight training, treadmill, bicycle and breathing exercises. Even when I felt bad, I kept at it. I never let anyone discourage me. Eventually, the wheezing stopped, my breathing improved and the back pain disappeared. I was able to walk with energy to spare! I exercise regularly. My doctor says he has never seen anyone “get better!” I attribute my improvement to exercise.

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Name: Rita Jean
Age: 72
Location: California
Activity: Aerobics, Weight Lifting

At age 72, I believe I am in good health because of my 25 years plus of aerobic exercises. I started exercising by joining the local gym in the early 80’s. Their program consisted of jogging around the gym. Later I found an aerobics class through adult education school. I have seen a few changes over the years with the classes. We did jumping jacks, spinning around, and even tap dancing which is now a no-no, for older students. After some recent tests on my heart, my doctor says that my heart is strong, and with no blockages or thickening of the walls. I do have high blood pressure. So I believe that many years of aerobic exercise has helped me to maintain my healthy heart.

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Name: Mary
Age: 67
Location: Georgia
Activity: Walking, Aerobics, Gardening, Farming

 I have always been very active playing football, hunting, boxing, weight lifting. As I got older, I got away from working out due to an office job and husband. I started having back problems, lumbar discs herniated, surgery, almost lost ability to function with two young children at 35 to 40 years old. Had several bouts with physical therapists. Almost became an invalid twice, but my determination to keep going won out. Farming at age 50, raising emu, ostrich and rhea, I needed something to keep my back working. My county started an aerobics class, took on pilates, a little yoga, heavy workout schedule. Today I am in great shape at age 67. Doctors are amazed at my body condition. I have four grandchildren, ages 3 years to 10 months, and can play all day after working out and working with company and garden.

 

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Name: Ruth
Age: 87
Location: Connecticut
Activity: Exercise Class, Balance Class, Walking

 I am an artist. I exercised sporadically, mostly walking. I wanted only to sleep and read after losing my significant other. I use a walker because I am battling congestive heart failure. After moving to a retirement community, I started to exercise. In balance class twice a week, I walk laps on my own without using the bars, my walker or a cane. I twist on a spinner without holding on as if spinning on a lazy Susan. In exercise class three times a week, I march without support in a cardiovascular warm-up, I stretch from my neck to my toes, and lift dumbbells for 20 to 40 repetitions. This is more exercise than I ever did in my life. I feel wonderful! I used to get angina, now it happens very rarely. I feel more confident. I think exercising is a lot of fun, especially when we crack up laughing about ourselves. In my free time, I am preparing all new works for an art exhibit.

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Name: Bonita
Age: 70
Location: South Carolina
Activity: Rowing, Weight Lifting

When I started exercising, I was very overweight. I felt, continuously, like I needed to sit down. I didn’t have a lot of energy. But in the last month, I have more energy and strength in my arms and legs. I have more get up and go. I have a better outlook on life. I feel great about myself and have more self-confidence. I lost inches in my waist, bust, and buttocks. When I look in a mirror, I like what I see. I am seventy years old, I am very proud of myself. I will continue working out for as long as I’m able.

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Name: 2009 Huntsman World Senior Games Women’s Volleyball Team
Age: 74-80
Location: Delaware and Michigan
Activity: Volleyball and other sports

538 total years! Seven players with their coach, ranging in age from 74 to 80, residing in Delaware and southeast Michigan, played volleyball at the 2009 Huntsman World Senior Games. These women have been active their entire lives. Since age 50, they have competed in various sports including track and field, basketball, softball, volleyball, bowling, badminton, pickle ball, swimming, diving, and table tennis. They have participated and won many medals in the Michigan and Delaware Senior Olympics, National Senior Olympic Games, and Huntsman World Senior Games.

Only two of the eight women have had any major medical problems. Of course, they experience the normal aches, pains, sprains, etc. but all are in good health and continue to participate in sports at a high level, from four to six days a week. And just try to guess any of their ages!

Players (left to right in photo): Dee Marquis, Monica Doig, JoAnn Hathorne, Evie Langlands, Arline Brown, Rosie Haduch, Marion Lisehora. Coach: Vanita Sink.

 

Find more of the fun, fit and healthy stories to get inspired:  http://nihseniorhealth.gov/stories/stories.html

 

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