Monday, January 22, 2018

Fitness at 106 Years Old

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How does one celebrate their 106th birthday? With a fitness party, of course …

Member Agnes Allen entered the Group Fitness studio surrounded by loved ones. Standing proud, she beautifully accepted birthday wishes from family, friends, and workout buddies. It was her one hundred sixth birthday. There was not a better place to be than among a community focused on her health.

At some point in life, everyone tries to find the secret of youth. Aging can signify slowing down, ailments, and wrinkles. However, as indicated in “Healthy Aging,”, many health issues attributed to age are actually a result of poor diet and sedentary lifestyle. Agnes’ good health is living proof that age is just a number.

She never experienced a major health event. Aside from two broken hips, which were replaced at age 100!, and a broken pelvis, Agnes remains hearty and happy. It seems the secret is not related to youth itself, but rather to living.

A Lifetime of Movement

Agnes on the move with daughter, Agnes, Jr.

Agnes is blessed with six children, 21 grandchildren, and 28 great-grandchildren located around the country. She spent much time over the years traveling to stay with them. A widow in only her fourth decade, she committed herself to family and work. She enjoyed a career with the State of New Jersey until she turned 72 years old.

Agnes, Jr., her daughter, commented how her mom had a small dog and would take the pet for lengthy walks up and down neighborhood hills. Agnes, Jr. also mentioned Agnes would shy away from senior citizens and their groups, citing those folks “acted old and only wanted to discuss sicknesses.” Agnes kept active and busy late into life, holding steadfast to a young mind, her body following suit.

A Day in the Life

Born when William Taft was president, gas cost seven cents a gallon, and a loaf of bread was three cents, Agnes has lived through a lot of history. It isn’t surprising she spends most of her free time today “holding court,” as her family endearingly refers to it. “She has a lot of stories to tell,” nods grandson John. She thrives on being the center of attention. At her age, she deserves it.

Grandchildren Judy & John with Agnes as she does a little fist-pumping.

Agnes lives with grandson John and granddaughter-in-law Judy during the week, and stays with their cousin on the weekends. This assures a fresh audience for all that storytelling, and lots of activity.

Personal Trainer Bridget chats with Agnes.

According to John, Agnes joined the Center because, “Anyone in our house is going to exercise.” They live on a farm with Sydney, their once well-behaved dog. Sydney is now (lovingly) considered a “spoiled monster,” thanks to Agnes. John and Judy spend their days very physically active. They are both Center members who recognize the benefits the Center offers Agnes.


At the Center, Agnes enjoys half-hour personal training sessions with Trainer Bridget. Her birthday celebration included a segment of her training routine: seated stretches with a focus on the body’s core. Other elements of Agnes’ workout include range-of-motion exercises and work on the stability ball.

Her trips to the Center provide a light workout, during which Bridget helps Agnes focus on honoring her muscles and feeling good. She refers to Agnes as “a light of love, a star.”


Agnes with new friend, Amby, who turns 106 years old next month.

Her sessions also provide unique opportunities for socialization. At the celebration, a 105-year-old from a neighboring community arrived. Perhaps he may become a member as well; they could be workout buddies. It would make an excellent gift for his own 106th birthday in November.

Words of Wisdom

Topped with a blinking birthday tiara, Agnes exclaimed her favorite part of the festivities was being with everyone there to witness her state of well-being.

How does Agnes manage that state of well-being? Here is her life advice. Take it to heart. It comes from 106 years of wisdom.

Agnes surrounded by loved ones.
  • Remember to say, “I love you.”
  • Listen attentively.
  • Have strong faith.
  • Give life everything you have.
  • Eat healthy, but don’t deprive yourself of cake.
  • Don’t be jealous of what others have. Be grateful for what you have.
  • A trip out for chai latte tea can cure bad moods.
  • Always, always exercise!



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