Age is no barrier: 99-year-old woman pumping iron at Onalaska gym

ONALASKA, Wis. (WKBT) — Armella Kueter is 99.9 years old– her goal is to make it to 100. With this workout regimen, she is well on her way.

Once a person makes it to 99, one day goes by in a blink.

“The years go by fast. I’ve had a lot of good years that I’ve really enjoyed,” Armella said.

But even as those years speed by, it can be tough to make time for fitness.

As a personal trainer, Kristie Ristow sees that firsthand.

“A lot of people don’t understand the benefit of it,” Kristie said. “As you get older, there are so many things that can go wrong with the body, you’re dealing with arthritis and other health problems, so a lot of people do give up. But it’s really important to stay active.”

But these days for Armella, making time for fitness is a no-brainer.

“There’s so many things you give up when you get to be 99, and it’s all and all, but I’ve enjoyed this place very much,” Armella said.

Armella lives at Havenwood in Onalaska, where there is a full-service gym. It has equipment that is specifically designed for older adults.

Only people 50 and over can join– Kristie says it is the only place like it in the region.

You’ll find Armella here three days a week.

“It has helped me do things I probably wouldn’t have tried to do,” Armella said.

She’s hoping to make it to 100.

“I’d say it was a good 99 years. I’d say 100, but 100 hasn’t happened yet.”

Now, she’s less than a month away– her birthday comes on Sept. 20.

“She wanted to make sure she was exercising, doing all she could so she could make it to 100,” Kristie said.

Armella just started using the gym in April, and Kristie has already seen a world of improvement.

“In her posture, her gait—she walks better, and definitely in coordination,” Kristie said.

And– like life in the golden ages– Armella is only getting better.

She’s having a big birthday party back home in Prairie Du Chien with all her family and friends.

If you are interested in signing up for Havenwood’s fitness center or would like more information, you can contact Kristie at 608-615-4692.