Tribune Print Share Text

Nonagenarian shares secrets to staying young

Her number one secret: Living at Fox Run

Created date

May 22nd, 2012

Gertrude Pinkney is 95 years old, but you d never know it based on her lifestyle. She exercises nearly every day. She does water aerobics, takes classes to prevent arthritis, and works out on her own at the on-site fitness and aquatics center at Fox Run, the Erickson Living community in Novi, Mich., where she lives. Gertrude moved to Fox Run from Huntington Woods, Mich., almost eight years ago. Since then, she s been featured in the book Positively Ninety: Interviews with Lively Nonagenarians. Here are two of Gertrude s secrets to staying vibrant and active in her 90s.

A different exercise every day

I go to a lot of the exercise classes, and I try to do a different exercise every day, Gertrude says. Plus, there are nice people in the classes, and that s one of the places where you get to meet people. Gertrude, who has two sons, one grandson, and a first great grandchild expected to be born in July, lives in a two-bedroom apartment home at Fox Run. Her apartment home is spacious, but Gertrude also has access to a host of amenities in Fox Run s well-appointed clubhouses. When she wants to check her email or surf the Internet, Gertrude heads down to the community s computer lab. She no longer has to worry about cooking because she can dine each night at one of Fox Run s two full-service restaurants. Dinner is a highlight for many Fox Run residents during their evening meals, many community members get to know one another and form close bonds. I try to eat with different people every day, Gertrude says.

Exercise for the mind

In addition to opportunities to keep her body in top shape, Gertrude has ample outlets to enrich her mind through the always-changing itinerary of classes, speakers, and special events at Fox Run. One of Gertrude s favorites is the Friday afternoon music study group, where volunteer music buffs make presentations and answer questions about different genres. That group is excellent, Gertrude says. We ve studied mostly classical music so far, but we are going to be doing music from the musicals soon. Part of Gertrude s secret to staying so young in mind, body, and spirit, she says, is living at Fox Run. I think if you live here, you stay younger, she says. You re not alone, and that makes such a big difference.