Her story will convince you to drag your friends to the gym.

By Zee Krstic
Updated: April 12, 2019
Getty: Rawpixel

Earlier this month, we had the pleasure of hearing the story of Jessica Slaughter, an 86-year-old St. Louis native who lost a whopping 120 pounds after starting a fitness routine that couldn't be simpler. And we're continuing to be inspired by real-life stories of how fitness can impact us at any age: as is the case for one California resident, who recently just completed her 1,200th workout session at a local Curves gym since she signed up for a membership… at the age of 83.

Pat Shebert is inspiring others in Natomas, California, with her commitment to exercise and sticking to a workout routine despite her age—but Shebert says her inspiration actually came from her best friend.

"I have to give that credit to someone else who got me off the couch and into the gym," Shebert told local NBC affiliate KCRA 3. That person is Mary Petrow, 77, who began recruiting other friends to work out with her at a Curves gym in Natomas, just outside of Sacramento.

While Shebert has experienced serious health issues before, including a cardiovascular scare when she experienced a blockage in a primary artery, she didn't consider heading to the gym until Petrow pushed her to do so.

Shebert says a majority of her health issues have since improved after she adopted a regular fitness routine—including the quality and quantity of her sleep. But most importantly? She feels more confident than ever.

"You are just more comfortable in your own skin," Shebert says on camera, smack in the middle of the Curves gym.

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Petrow is also extremely inspiring: she's completed 800 workout since joining Curves, and tells KRCA 3 that she's never had more energy than now. "I've got muscles, my body fat is perfect. And it's a lot of fun!"

Kim Gardner is the owner of the Natomas Curves franchise, and she says that there's even more clients like Shebert and Petrow. Women in their 70s and 80s, she says, often complete 30-minute workouts consisting of simple cardio and basic strength training. They manage to burn an average of 300 calories each time they come in.

"I've seen miracles happen in here," Gardner says, sharing that some women start their fitness journey with canes—and then start coming in without them.

These women have inspired those in Natomas, and they're a great example of how physical activity—even if it's just 30 minutes or less—can be crucial to overall health, especially as we age.

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