Tribune Print Share Text

Fitness Hall of Fame inducts four

Created date

June 22nd, 2010
MD0710_FitnessHallofFame1
MD0710_FitnessHallofFame1

Growing up, Kitty Hughes was not the athletic type. In fact, you might say she did everything she could to avoid exercise altogether. I was petrified of playing volleyball or climbing a rope, says Hughes. It just wasn t my cup of tea. Instead of gym class, Hughes opted for study hall. Now, the retired elementary school library secretary has accomplished a milestone that once seemed unlikely. This spring she was inducted into Oak Crest s Fitness Hall of Fame for her achievement of 2,000 workouts in the community s fitness center. I had no idea how much fun exercising can be, says Hughes, who in 1999 joined the fitness center down the hall from her Oak Crest apartment home. While many are just rolling out of bed, at 7 a.m., Hughes can be found working out on the NuStep, treadmill, elliptical, and other aerobic machines in the fitness center five days a week. It s just a way of life for me now. It s part of my daily routine, says Hughes. Living here makes it easy to exercise, having all the equipment just down the hall. Hughes believes the friendships she s made with fellow fitness club-goers is one of the motivating factors that keeps her coming back. It s a great way to meet people that share a common interest, she says. It also provides a great support system that keeps you going.

Healthy balance

Sid George, a member of the fitness center for 11 years, is among the familiar faces. He, too, was inducted into the hall of fame for completing 2,000 workouts, and he agrees with Hughes that the convenience of the fitness center has been instrumental in his commitment. I know that I wouldn t exercise like I do if I had to get in the car and drive somewhere, says George. It s here and it s convenient so I go. I get it over with early in the morning and then the rest of the day I have to do whatever I want. George s routine consists of 50 minutes of aerobic exercise and weight training every other day. He says he exercises to manage his weight, control his blood pressure, and feel better in general. My doctor says, Whatever it is you re doing, keep it up, says George.

Still running

At 84, Bob Gralley ran his 50,000th mile, a distance equal to twice around the world. With 42 marathons already under his belt and plans to run his next race in October, theOak Crestresident was honored at the first annualOak CrestFitness Hall of Fame Day for his running accomplishments. I am so impressed by the dedication and commitment that Mr. Gralley along with our 2,000 workout members have shown, saysOak CrestWellness Manager Temica Carter. They serve as fitness role models to all of us. Gralley attributes his good health and lack of age-related ailments to his love of running. I feel really good about how running and exercise has affected me over the years, says Gralley. I know my blood pressure would be higher without exercise, but also it keeps you mentally fit. It makes you feel better about yourself. There are so many benefits to the whole thing, I don t want to stop. Carter agrees that staying physically active is important at every age, but especially for those 50 and over. The old saying holds true: Use it or lose it, says Carter. Regular exercise is the best way to ensure that we remain strong and healthy enough to lead and enjoy vibrant, active lives. And, she adds, It s never too late to start exercising. Even if you currently aren t that active, you can still reap the many benefits of exercise by starting now. George, Hughes, and Gralley say they will continue to challenge themselves. I will keep exercising and adding more weight and more time to my exercise routine, says George. I really feel that following a regular exercise program all these years has been beneficial to me. I highly recommend it. Even if you can only do it a short time or a couple of times a week, it keeps the blood pumping and your body active.

Comments