Bill Laramore, of Peabody, started walking regularly in 1976, after a surgeon told him it would help him recover from surgery on his lower back. Laramore had several bones in his lower back fused to treat degenerative arthritis in his spine.
He is always in pain, but walking helps relieve the pain enough that he only has to take one pill daily for it.
“I’d get stiffer than a poker if I didn’t walk,” 80-year-old Laramore said.
On days when the weather is nice, he walks as many as three miles. When inclement weather strikes, he walks the hallways at Indian Guide Terrace Apartments.
Exercising doesn’t have to take long, Peabody resident Charlene Sullivan said. She walks two miles most days, divided into morning and afternoon walks. Each walk takes about 20 minutes.
“It’s good for your back,” she said.
Ruth Lott, also of Peabody, takes a different approach to exercise. She travels to Newton three days a week for water aerobics.
“Oh, it’s wonderful,” she told a friend at Peabody Senior Center. “I love it.”
Water aerobics classes are a good chance to be social, and they help her weight, energy, and mental health, she said.
She likes that water aerobics don’t involve the impacts of walking or jogging.
“I don’t get sore,” she said. “I’m a coward; I don’t like pain.”