Being Fit Saved My Life


People choose to go to a gym for many reasons. I started going in my sixties, as my goal was to be strong and independent as long as possible. I am almost 74, and I have been working with personal trainer Judy Barden since before we both came to Option 1.

I succeeded in my goal, but I didn’t think of another very important benefit. In April, I was hospitalized for three weeks, seriously ill with pneumonia and another rarer disease that took nearly two weeks to diagnose. When I was released in early May, I went home with a walker, nursing care, physical therapy - and the prediction that I would need all of that through the end of June.

I gave up the walker within two weeks, and the other services by June 1.

Everyone, from my doctor to the home visiting therapists and nurses, agreed that my rapid recovery was due to my fitness level before I got sick. Yes, I lost weight and muscle mass. Both are returning. Can I lift the weight I was lifting before I got sick? Not yet. But every week sees improvement.

I credit regular workouts with Judy Barden, at the best of the four gyms with which I have had experience.

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