By Kaitlin Candelaria
Shelly Terry is somewhat of a fitness guru. At 77 years old, she puts most college students to shame with her workout routines.
Terry, who lives in Hoover and sells real estate for RealtySouth, is a member at not one but two different gyms. She committed herself to working out seriously over a decade ago, she said.
“Within three or four months of starting, I no longer needed my arthritis medication,” Terry said. “That told me a lot. Over the years, I have belonged to a few different gyms, and I still belong to both the Hoover Rec and Hoover Y. I like belonging to two gyms because I’m able to keep my real estate appointments and my exercise classes on schedule.”
Terry generally takes at least two spin classes a week, two weight classes a week, and Pilates and yoga once a week each. She said she is also looking forward to the outdoor tennis season, which adds a weekly match and practice clinic to her workout routine.
“A healthy lifestyle through good nutrition and exercise has worked for me, as I know it has for others,” Terry said. “I found that the more I work out, the better I feel and the more energy I have.”
Terry has always been passionate about living a healthy lifestyle, she said. In college, she was a food and nutrition major. After graduation, she accepted a position as an early childhood teacher and used what she had learned to teach nutrition to her 3 to 5-year-old students and their families.
She also worked at the Maryland State Department of Education in child nutrition programs.
“It was something I always felt was very important,” Terry said. “You have to reach the children, but you have to reach the parents as well.”
After moving from Maryland to Alabama, Terry continued to work in the childhood nutrition field. She even consulted with different schools around the country about their nutrition programs and improving the choices and quality of food for children.
Terry said she practices healthy eating habits at her own dinner table.
“I did research in college on the effects of maternal nutrition and the health of the baby,” Terry said. “That research had a definite effect on how I ate and what I prepared for my family to eat. For my own table, I buy only fresh fruits and vegetables and cook them simply, usually by steaming or occasionally stir frying. My protein portions include beef, pork, chicken, shellfish and salmon.
“Combining the nutrition aspect with the fitness aspect — I did a lot of that in my previous work. I still think it’s the way to go.”