At almost 90-years-old, Monique Lacharite enjoys her weekly Zumba classes.

Exercise key for 89-year-old Valley resident

Monique Lacharite knows the secret of keeping a regular exercise routine: go in the morning.

“I like to come in the morning because I have more energy in the morning than in the afternoon. After a big lunch and a glass of wine, you don’t feel like exercising,” she says with a laugh.

The 89-year-old has been exercising for most of her life, and as she approaches her 90th birthday, she has made exercising a family affair in the form of a Zumba class at the Lewis Centre in Courtenay, which she shares with her two daughters.

“I’m supposed to be in shape — what I mean is healthy. I guess that’s the reason — I always wanted to stay a little bit firm. I love this class. It’s because it’s exercise but at the same time, you do a little bit of dance. I hadn’t danced in so long.”

Lacharite’s daughter Catherine Keylock explains her mom has always maintained a healthy lifestyle but credits her cooking to her parent’s longevity.

“She’s a phenomenal cook but she’s always preparing healthy meals. Next week, my dad turns 90 and he’s in awesome shape. We credit mom because otherwise, he’d be eating mustard sandwiches and hot dogs.”

While the family had lived apart for some time, they now relish the opportunity to “walk around and hang out and do these classes,” added Keylock.

As for getting other seniors involved in exercise, Lacharite says she encourages anyone to make an effort and try.

“When you grow old, there’s always something wrong … you have a little this, you have a little that. If you stay home, you think of all you have that is not right, and it’s worse, so you have to go out sometimes and change your mind.”

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