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It’s never too late to start exercising

Ruby Brandt attributes improved health, wellness to newfound fitness routine

Created date

July 23rd, 2013

Ruby Brandt describes her exercise routine prior to moving to Eagle s Trace as nil. I guess I just didn t see it as a necessary thing, says Ruby, who moved to the West Houston community from North Dakota in October 2006. Now, seven years later, Ruby seldom misses a workout. I take the Silver Express [aerobics] class and chair tai chi on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and I do water aerobics on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, she says. Ruby credits the on-site fitness center and swimming pool, as well as encouragement from Wellness Coordinator Shirley Woods, for jumpstarting her fitness regimen. I can be self-motivated, says Ruby. But it s nice to be pushed sometimes.

Change of plans

Ruby s regular presence in fitness classes is even more remarkable considering a move to Eagle s Trace wasn t in her plans. I was spending summers in North Dakota and winters in Arizona, says Ruby. But then the Red River flooded in 2005, and my children felt I would be safer living closer to my daughter in Houston. When Ruby visited Eagle s Trace to pick out an apartment home, the indoor swimming pool caught her eye. I was afraid of the water at the time, but I thought I should take advantage of all the community has to offer, she says. Once Ruby settled into her two-bedroom, Flagstaff-style apartment home she transformed the second bedroom into a crafts studio she asked Woods for more information about the daily exercise classes. I wore a [buoyancy] belt the first time I got in the pool for a water aerobics class because I didn t want to sink, says Ruby. Then I saw how much more the other residents could do without the belt. Eventually, I took off the belt and started using the [pool] noodle like everyone else.

Year-round exercise

Woods says that more than half of the residents at Eagle s Trace use the pool on a regular basis. We keep the pool heated to 86.7 degrees, so it s comfortable year-round, says Woods. The swimming pool and fitness center are accessible from residents apartments via climate-controlled walkways, an important consideration in a city where the mercury regularly tops 100 degrees. If I had to go outside to get to my exercise classes, I wouldn t do them, says Ruby. But as it is, I rarely miss a class. If I m here, I go. Having friends who work out regularly is an added incentive for Ruby to keep up her fitness routine. The combination of exercise and social interaction has improved my well-being, she says. There s no doubt about it.