By Rita La Rosa Loud, B.S.

January is upon us, and many are focused on losing weight. But why not start the New Year off with inspiring testimonies from members of our generation who got stronger building muscle and bone, alleviated debilitating arthritic joints, or improved a variety of health metrics like blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose levels? Essentially, older adults directed their health and well-being toward a better quality of life. Nevertheless, by making health a priority, you will look, feel, and function better – I can guarantee it. And those jeans you wanted to fit into? No question they will fall well below your belt buckle as a result. Relaying their stories are seniors who have made the lifestyle commitment accompanied by life-changing health outcomes to boot!

Ann Harrington, Age 62

“I believe regular exercise leads to a healthier life, but for years, was a gym dropout. In 2021, arthritis in both hips became bone-on-bone; I had to face a hip replacement. My doctor advised me to get in shape and lose weight. I learned we lose muscle due to inactivity, that strength training helps with being physically strong. So, I am committed to getting fit. I received guidance in the group resistance program and added more protein to build muscle. I lost 30 pounds, endured surgery, can walk without assistance, lift myself from a chair, and go up and down stairs on my own. I live a lifestyle where exercise is both enjoyable and doable part of my daily activity.” 

Anne Reel, Age 68

Anne has been exercising since 2012. “I found resistance exercise should be part of everyone’s retirement plan. It reduces the risk of dementia, strokes, broken hips, arthritis, and physical weakness. I live the healthiest lifestyle I can to avoid these conditions. Strength training has helped me maintain a healthy weight, keep my cholesterol levels down, and not suffer from arthritis.”

Jocelyn Hand, Age 81

Jocelyn suffers from fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, scoliosis, sciatica, and arthritis. Training on the Nautilus strength and cardiovascular machines provided her with instant relief from fibromyalgia pain, and her more recent bone density test showed no increase in bone loss. “Strength training, aerobic exercise, and stretching has greatly improved my health. I plan to continue this lifestyle for many more years.”

Julie Driscoll, Age 70

Julie noticed her blood-sugar levels were rising and decided to participate in the exercise and nutrition study of strength and cardiovascular exercise that included supplemental protein shakes. She lost 20 pounds, added muscle, lost fat and inches on both her hips and waistline. Notably, her Hba1c (blood-sugar levels) significantly improved; to this day Julie is an avid exercise enthusiast.

Deborah Barrett, Age 70

By engaging in a comprehensive resistance training program, Deborah’s low back pain disappeared. She has greater endurance and flexibility, and her blood pressure and cholesterol dosages have been reduced by 50%! Consequently, Deborah plans on maintaining her health and fitness well into the future.

Ready to commit to living a healthier life?

Consider the Wayne Westcott, Ph.D. Center for Health and Fitness supervised group strength, endurance, and flexibility program at Quincy College, Presidents Place, 1250 Hancock St., Quincy. To book a tour, free session, or register, call 617-405-5978. Street parking is available, and a parking garage is next to the building.

About the Author: Rita La Rosa Loud holds a B.S. in Exercise Physiology with additional education in Sports Medicine and Athletic Training. She is NASM Certified and has been actively involved in the fitness industry for more than 35 years. She is also an author and writes

fitness-related articles for various publications. Currently, she is a fitness researcher and directs the Wayne Westcott, Ph.D. Center for Health and Fitness at Quincy College. She can be reached at 617-405-5978.