Office for Studies on Aging to Host Webinar Featuring 76-year-old Fitness Leader

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Fitness leader Joan MacDonald will share the story of how she transformed her body and life at age 70.

The Office for Studies on Aging is hosting a free webinar featuring 76-year-old fitness leader Joan MacDonald at 1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16.

The public and campus community are invited.

MacDonald will share the story of how she transformed her body and life. At age 70, she was experiencing fatigue, painful arthritis and high blood pressure. Her breaking point came when a doctor told her she would need to increase her medication. With support and guidance from her daughter, a fitness coach, MacDonald started putting her health first.

“We’ve been conditioned to accept … that we have to go through menopause, we’re going to get fat, everything’s going to fall apart after we’re 40. But that’s not true,” she said.

The Office for Studies on Aging is an interdisciplinary unit in the College of Education and Health Professions that promotes research, community outreach and advocacy to enhance the quality of life across the lifespan. Located in the HPER Building, the office studies the physical, social and psychological aspects of the aging process. Ro Di Brezzo and Barbara Shadden founded it in 1999 in response to the “graying of America.”

Michelle Gray, professor of exercise science and interim head of the Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation, is the current director. Gray studies age-related ailments with the goal of increasing the quality of life of older adults. Her research interests include cognitive decline, the relationship to physical function and high-velocity resistance training’s impact on functional outcomes among this population.

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