93-year-old teaches exercise classes at assisted living community; showing age is just a number

Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 5:54 PM EDT
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MISHAWAKA, Ind. (WNDU) - Four days a week, the 93-year-old former gym teacher, Betty Stelter, is helping residents at Tanglewood Trace to stay active.

“We love it, she’s very good with us, and gets us moving,” says Kay Andrzejewski, a resident at Tanglewood Trace, and participant in Stelter’s workout classes.

When Stelter first got to Tanglewood Trace, she was only a participant of the class, but when the instructor got a new job, Stetler decided to step in as the teacher, and directors at the assisted living community say, her class is the most popular one.

“For everybody exercising, it’s just nice to see somebody in your own age group. You know, it’s encouragement to exercise and say if she can do it, I can too,” says Katrina Mangold, the Vibrant Life Director at Tanglewood Trace.

Being 93 years old, Stelter has back problems, and is legally blind, but that doesn’t stop her.

“I went to the doctor, and she said, well, Betty, the only thing that you can do is exercise, and so now I’m sticking with it, I’m still doing it,” Stelter tells 16 News Now.

10 years later.

Stelter says, she originally started the classes for her own health, but now, it’s the enjoyment of the other residents that she enjoys the most.

“I see improvement. One of them came to me and said, I’m shocked I can do that now. You know? So, it’s exciting just to see, they enjoy it, so I enjoy it,” Stelter says.

The workout classes focus on things like balance and movement, helping residents to stay independent, while also having fun.

“I’m not a workout person. I lived with my daughter before I got here, and I was just up and down steps is all I did, but I like all the exercise we do here. We look forward to it,” says Andrzejewski.

All proving that age really is just a number, with Stelter saying, “You can do anything you want to do if you want to work at it hard enough.”