It’s never too late to start with weights
On New Years Eve 2002, 80-year-old Courtenay White spent the evening visiting her husband in his nursing home in a nearby city. Afterward, White went to a nice hotel, followed a work-out chart from her daughter, and brought in the New Year with her free weights and the celebration on TV.
“I had heard working out with weights was healthy for you and made you strong,” she said.
Her daughter, Marie Jamieson, Mukilteo artist and Federal Child Welfare consultant, showed White exercises she had learned from her personal trainer.
Jamieson went through the exercises with her mom, sometimes using no weights so White could learn proper form.
White started with one and two-pound weights. Eventually she held the one and two-pound weights together in each hand, for three pounds. Over time, she progressed to five-pound hand weights.
Marie noticed a dramatic change in her mother.
“She swam in her 30s, but after that she had no regular sports or exercise until her 80s. When I visited I brought new routines.
“After a few months, she was getting up and down so easily. She was much more stable and had better balance.”
White noticed that she felt stronger. Her massage therapist commented on the strong muscles in her arms and shoulders, which pleased White.
“I was able to lose a few pounds,” she said with a smile.
Today, her five-pound free-weight workout routine is 15 minutes, 2-3 times per week. She sometimes does leg exercises at night in bed, which is convenient because afterward she is tired!
She mixes it up with 30 minutes on the treadmill, twice per week.
White lives in an Independent Living Center in Lakewood, Colo. She is active in politics and savvy about world events. She enjoys movies, plays and social outings with her friends.
This strong, vivacious woman finds great joy in walking Peppy, her miniature black poodle.
In Feburary 2008 when 86-year-old White left the Democratic Caucus to drive herself home, she slipped on the ice in the parking lot.
“I was able to turn myself around and get up onto my knees and then stand up without anything to hold on to,” she said.
White considers herself a poster child for seniors’ strength training.
“It’s never too late to start with weights,” she said.
This year, at 89, she toured the White House and was greeted by the First Lady! Standing tall and strong, White is smiling radiantly in the White House photo of herself with Mrs. Obama.
Congratulations on all your successes, Courtenay!
Kay Wagner LMP & NASM Certified Personal Trainer, leads classes in Yoga, Pilates, Free weights & Fit-ball. Her BABY BOOMER/SENIORS oriented classes are held at ROSEHILL Community Center.Kay provides Massage Therapy & Personal Training in her studio overlooking the mountains and water, at 828 2nd St. in Mukilteo. Please call 425-353-4545. Learn more @ kaywagnerwellness.com.