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Fitness Fridays motivates woman with emphysema to exercise

Mature woman practicing yoga in park

A Minnesota woman says AARP Georgia's Fitness Fridays has been encouraging her 70-year-old aunt to get back into exercising.

Fitness Fridays are free, 60-minute virtual total body workouts led by DaShaun Johnson.

[Check out the Fitness Friday schedule]

Rebecca Miniscalco reached out to AARP Georgia to say “thank you” for the exercise series. She said her aunt has emphysema and is on oxygen 24/7.

“The COVID pandemic has been hard on her because she wasn't able to get out much and exercise, so we bought her an exercise bike. She had worked herself up to being able to bike for 20 minutes, which was amazing for her. This past summer, however, she got pneumonia, and it knocked her progress all the way back to where she is winded walking from one end of her house to the other. It is really disheartening for her after all the progress she made, and knowing that it will take months of work to get back to where she was, if she is even able to,” Miniscalco said.

That’s where Fitness Fridays comes in.

Rebecca went to shovel snow for her aunt around the Thanksgiving holiday, and ended up joining one of the Zoom workout from there. Her aunt said she probably wouldn’t be able to do the workout, but that was not the case at all.

“In the corner of my eye, I noticed my aunt was also doing the stretches, I didn't say anything, but I turned my computer screen a little more toward her and turned up the brightness on the screen so she could see better. We got into the workout, and she was doing the exercises right alongside me. I let her know that she should listen to her body, go at her own pace, and that it was ok if she did fewer reps, or needed to stop and catch her breath. She did fewer reps for some of the exercises, and only twice she needed to stop and catch her breath,” Miniscalco said.

Miniscalco said she plans to do the workouts over the next few weeks from her aunt’s home so they can do them together.

If you needed a sign to get back into your exercise routine, especially after losing sight of your routine or momentum, this is it.

What are you waiting for?

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