An Exercise Story

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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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Last reviewed: August 2005