Phyliss Diller once joked that her idea of exercise was a good brisk sit. It's a good thing one of her peers in Mitchell isn't taking that advice. Nancy Naeve Brown met a spry 94 year old who swears exercise is helping her stay upright.
Blanche Krell has been an active member of the Avera Queen of Peace Wellness Center in Mitchell since 2002 always supported by a couple of guys by her side...Red her husband of 65 years, and her personal trainer Sam Laufmann. Blanche tells us her knees were giving her so much trouble she asked her doctor if he thought exercise would help. As you might imagine, his answer was yes.
Dr. Trevor Meaney says, "As physicians we think people in general should exercise to whatever they are capable of doing even if that's just stretching to vigorous exercise like running."
When I asked the self-motivated mover if she thought working out did indeed help she too answered emphatically yes.
Blanche says, "Yes it did. I still use a cane, but it did help."
Dr. Meaney says, "Even in her 90's, I think it's very beneficial for people to do what they can. We looked her over, discussed her health issues and determined yeah, it will be okay to start slow and work her way up in whatever activity she could tolerate quite a bit so that's what's helped her keep going and moving."
Even when the weather is bad and Blanche can't make it to the Wellness Center she walks the stairs at her apartment complex 32 steps up and 32 steps down and she does that twice a day.
Dr. Meaney says, "So I think she's done real well for herself."
In 2007 Blanche had surgery on her left knee and now proudly echoes Nike's slogan: just do it.
Blanche says, "If you have knee surgery I tell people to go for it and exercise will help you recover faster."
Fitness help keep Blanche on her feet and that helps keep Red on his toes. Not a bad thing 6 1/2 decades in the making.
Blanche is the oldest member at the Avera Queen of Peace Wellness Center and has also earned the honor of being a former "member of the month".