BUTTE - Even at 87, Larry Johnson prefers a stair climber to a rocking chair.
“Are you going to sit there and rocking chair it out? No, no, no, I got to get up and move,” Johnson said.
Larry and his wife, Jean, have been exercising at the YMCA in Butte at least five days a week for 30 years. Larry stays in such good shape, he’s even invented his own exercise – the upside down pull-up.
“Just one day I was standing here and wondering if I could do that. So I give it a go and, by golly, it’s really not too tough if you tuck your knees right up to your chest and push up,” Johnson said.
Laure Peterson said, “I want to be like him when I’m his age. “
YMCA Trainer Laure Peterson believes regular exercise can help slow the effects of aging for seniors.
“It’s going to improve their functional fitness overall, so anything they do, getting their groceries, shoveling their walks, going to the store, I mean, simple things like opening and closing your door that’s going to help with range of motion, because if you don’t use it, you lose it,” Peterson said.
Johnson said, “Keep the old muscles going and I feel good, and the same with the wife, we look forward to it every day.”
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Well, that’s not true when it comes to exercise; in fact, the experts say you’re never too old to start exercising.
“Almost everybody I train is over 50. We have 90 classes offered in our studio here and in the pool and there’s usually something for everybody,” Peterson said.
And the exercise routine is not just about working up a sweat.
“Another thing I like about here is the comradery. Some people want to do their thing and not be interrupted with somebody chattering, they’re serious about it and I think I am too, but I do like to chatter,” Johnson said.
His friend, 87-year-old Joe Brusati added, “Some days I think I’m not going to go and then I say, ‘oh I got to go have coffee with Larry,’ so I come over anyhow and exercise. “
Keeping fit in the golden years.
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