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Don't set lofty goals

When starting excercise plan, do something you like.

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  • | 8:00 a.m. October 18, 2018
Bonnie Wilder demonstrates stretching.
Bonnie Wilder demonstrates stretching.
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Bonnie Wilder is one of those types who gets mad at herself if she misses exercising a day.

So, the Longboat Key resident doesn’t.

“I feel like exercising is a responsibility,” she said. “I am competing with myself, too.”

And sometimes her grandson.

“When I got my Fitbit four years ago, I was doing 10,000 steps a day," she said. “A couple of years ago, my daughter and grandson were coming to town. We picked them up at the airport and my grandson (then 13) had a much fancier Fitbit. I asked how many steps he did. He looks at his Fitbit and said 33,000. He then asked me how many I did, but I didn’t tell him”

Wilder, who is 75 and toned, did not start regularly exercising because she had to. Weight, cholesterol and high blood pressure were not issues for her.

“I was never much of an eater,” Wilder said.

It was a Jazzercise class — a combination of aerobic exercise and dance fitness — that she went to in the 1980s that sparked her three-decade habit.

“I loved the instructor,” said Wilder, who moved to Florida with her husband, Skip, a decade ago from the Washington, D.C., area.

“I don’t know what started me exercising,” she said. “I had a mother who never moved from her chair.”

These days, Wilder has an exercise routine that would exhaust someone half her age. On Mondays and Wednesday mornings, Wilder can be found playing doubles tennis, usually for 90 minutes. And on Tuesdays, Friday and Saturday mornings, she is taking back-to-back exercise classes for two hours at the Longboat Key Club.

“Sundays I walk for an hour,” she said.

Her fitness regimen also includes eating healthy, a change from her Midwest childhood diet of meat and potatoes.

“I get more feedback from people for being a food policeman,” she said. “I watch what I eat and try and monitor my husband, but perhaps I should retire.”

Breakfast is always a banana. Then it is off to exercise.

“Morning is for exercise,” she said.

After exercise, Wilder said she goes to her Bay Isles home and has lunch. That's always yogurt and fruit with a few extras.

“I make a mixture of sunflower seeds, coconut and slivered almonds that I lightly brown,” Wilder said. “I then put dark chocolate chips in it. Dark chocolate is the only chocolate I eat.”

Dinner is boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or fish, and on rare occasions, pasta.

“I think about the days where you didn’t have to worry about high blood pressure or cholesterol,” she said. “I know I never used to think about it. I remember that my father and I used to sit down at the table with a can of Hershey’s chocolate and two spoons. I would love to do that but wouldn’t think about it.”

For people who are considering an exercise program, Wilder said find something you like to do and do it in the morning.

“If you don’t do it in the morning, then it won’t get done,” she said. “Don’t have lofty goals either. Start small. When you’re feeling better, start increasing what you’re doing.”














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