News Photo by Darby Hinkley Beverly Kindt, 81, smiles next to a large sunflower in her side yard in Alpena on Monday afternoon.

ALPENA – If you think age is slowing you down, you haven’t met these ladies.

Beverly Kindt, 81, and Marilynn Baukol, 79, both say staying active as seniors takes work, but every healthy lifestyle choice they make prolongs their lives and makes them feel good about themselves. inside as well as outside.

Both ladies eat healthy, but they don’t necessarily count calories or follow a diet. They just eat lots of fruits and vegetables and watch their portion sizes. Baukol eats all the potatoes she wants, but she doesn’t eat anything fried or use oil while cooking.

They both enjoy walking, in addition to other types of exercise. Kindt does yoga and dances around the house with her cat, Molly. Baukol attends exercise classes five days a week at the Alpena Senior Citizens Center and walks along the Thunder Bay River when the weather is nice.

“I come (to do exercises) five days a week, and my husband comes three days a week,” Baukol said.

News Photo by Darby Hinkley Marilynn Baukol, 79, takes part in a morning exercise class at Alpena Senior Center on Tuesday morning.

She and her husband, David, moved to Alpena two years ago from the Seattle, Washington area. The couple is active at the Alpena Lions Club.

“We love it,” she said. “It’s the friendliest town we’ve ever lived in.”

Walking has been Marilynn Baukol’s favorite exercise for many years.

“I walk a lot,” Baukol said.

She and Senior Citizens Center Program Director BJ Sander often take morning walks around the Thunder Bay River in downtown Alpena. Afterwards, she attends exercise classes at the center.

News photo by Darby Hinkley Marilynn Baukol, 79, looks at a nutrition book at the Alpena Senior Citizens Center on Monday morning.

“I signed up for exercise, book club, meditation,” Baukol said, noting that she loves the senior center and all the programs there. “It’s just, like, our family now.”

Baukol and Kindt keep their minds sharp with socializing, hobbies, and reading.

Baukol is part of the Senior Citizens Center Book Club, which will read “The China Study,” by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell II.

“You can dramatically reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes simply by changing your diet,” the book’s back cover reads. “The key to a long and healthy life is three things: breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

The club meets at 11:30 a.m. on Thursdays. Contact BJ at the senior center for more information at 989-356-3585.

Baukol gets her nutrients from the foods she eats, and she doesn’t take any prescription drugs.

“I like to eat lots of fruits and vegetables,” Kindt said. “I eat oatmeal in the morning. I eat a lot of organic. I have organic milk, butter, sugar. The basics. I believe in that. I try to stay away from…a lot of processed foods. I eat pretty clean. I always read about food and nutrition, and I believe it helps us stay healthy.

She cooks her own meals at home, rather than eating out and not knowing what’s in the food she eats. She makes a large portion and freezes some to have at a later date.

“I keep it simple,” she said. “I do this because I’m not really crazy about cooking.”

Kindt finds solace in his garden.

“It makes me feel good,” she said. “I feel close to the earth. I feel close to God. I hear the birds in the morning. I see the sun rise. I am on my terrace around 6:30 am in general. I start my day there. I end my day there.

She has hundreds of different flowers in her garden oasis.

“I work in my yard, my garden, every day,” Kindt said. “My garden is full of perennials, but I’m always cutting shrubs, trees, watering the lawn. I try to keep my lawn green…it’s also a lot of exercise.

She gets up early and meditates to start her day on a peaceful note.

“The first thing I do is meditate,” Kindt said. “It reassures me, refocuses me.”

She also has a living room in her Alpena home where she lets her creativity run free.

“I spend a lot of time up there in the winter,” she said of her living room.

Kindt recommends having a pet to keep you company and cheer you up. Her black cat, Molly, has been her companion since shortly after the death of her husband, Jerry, four years ago.

“It’s also important for the state of mind,” Kindt said of having a pet.

She and her late husband planted the garden together.

“When we moved here, there was nothing there,” Kindt said. “Jerry and I kind of created a sanctuary with the planting of trees and the different flowers. When I’m out there with the birds, the trees, the flowers, I think, ‘Enough is enough.’ This is the lesson. That’s enough. I can take advantage of it.

As the seasons change, she recommends joining a local fitness center. Seniors can join the wellness center at Alpena Community College, she said.

“During the winter, I join the wellness center,” Kindt said. “I love their gear. But, in the spring and summer, I’m outside. But now I’m going to sign up for the fall, because it’s going to start getting cold.

She is also a member of the Lifelong Learners Association.

“They have wonderful programs,” Kindt said. “And they are up to date with what’s new.”

She walks three or four times a week for 30 to 40 minutes, which is a stress reliever. Before, she liked to ride a bicycle, but now she prefers to walk.

“I’m lucky to be healthy, but I also worked for it,” Kindt said. “All these years, I was always exercising.”

Baukol explained why she eats healthy and exercises.

“Because I feel better,” she says. “You don’t feel like cartwheeling everywhere, but stop doing it, and that’s when you’ll notice it.”

It’s never too late to start exercising and eating healthier, she added.

Consistency is key, along with a positive attitude, Kindt said.

“With exercise and movement, that’s the goal – to keep doing things to take care of myself and to be able to live a good life for the rest of my life,” she said. “It’s also a mental attitude. I read a few articles about the joy of aging. There are challenges as you get older. When you reach 80, death is, in a way, more around you than ever. But I just feel lucky to be alive, and I’m going to keep working every day to keep my life going.

She added that balance is essential to a healthy life.

“I honestly believe that…we have an obligation to our bodies, minds and souls to take care of ourselves as best we can,” Kindt said. “Stay involved and keep moving forward.”

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