92-year-old exercise instructor

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - By Sara Story - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - At 92 years old, Lillian Sudduth is the head of the class. In fact, she is leading the exercise class at Atria Willow Park, moving her arms up and down.

"Well, one of my doctors told me, he said, 'You're as healthy as a horse, Mrs. Sudduth,'" she said. "The other one said, 'You are fantastically healthy,' and then he added, 'for your age.'"

At age 92, Sudduth leads class when needed, walks a mile every morning, and is a member the walking club.

"We need to exercise our body," she said. "This body is not ours. Mine belongs to the Lord!"

And, for the residents, this exercise does more than keep them fit.

"It is statistically proven that it greatly reduces the signs of Alzheimer's Disease by being engaged both physically and mentally," said Jennifer Hett.

Sudduth is a prime example; she not only exercises regularly, but keeps her mind engaged by playing the piano.

"I started playing when I was four years old...When I was 11, I was the only pianist in our community," she recalled.

Once a week, residents gather to listen to "'ole time gospel with Mrs. Sudduth."

"I told the Lord, if he'd let me use that talent, I would use it as long as my hands would work and my brains would work together and I have enjoyed that talent so much," said Sudduth.

Sudduth sets goals for her future. Her next mission is to live longer than her mom did. Come September that mission will be accomplished.

As for her exercise class, she is not planning on stopping any time soon.

"I am going to exercise anyway whether I lead it or whether I just sit back in a chair and do it," said Sudduth.

A recent study by the Mayo Clinic suggests that mid and late-life exercise can delay the onset of Alzheimer's and other dementias by nearly 40%.

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