An Exercise Story

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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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Last reviewed: August 2005