If you ever need motivation to work out, look no further than Coronado resident Aida Baker. Aida celebrated her 100th birthday this March, making her the oldest member of the Sewall Healthy Living Center at Sharp Coronado Hospital. But she doesn't let her age define how much she gets her body moving - she works out 3 times a week.
Aida has been affiliated with Sharp Coronado Hospital since 1980, when she started volunteering. Over the years, she has served more than 10,000 volunteer hours answering phones and helping the chaplains distribute Holy Communion to patients throughout the hospital. Aida says Sharp Coronado is a community gem, and she has enjoyed watching it grow over the years.
Now, she is a regular in a different area of the hospital - the Sewall Healthy Living Center, where she has been a member for over 9 years. She says her favorite part of being a member is working out with the staff and seeing their passion for health and fitness.
"I love the enthusiasm all the trainers have in what they're doing, and that kind of spreads," Aida says. "It's nice to come with the young people and do my thing."
By "her thing" she means riding the exercise bike, lifting light weights and stretching with her trainer, Cynthia Mendolia, an exercise specialist at the Sewall Healthy Living Center.
Aida Baker continues her journey to improve her health with exercise and stretching with her trainer, Cynthia Mendolia, an exercise specialist at the Sewall Healthy Living Center.
Mendolia says that Aida is a joy to work with. "Aida is the hardest working client I have here. She has a spirit of willingness. She's a client who never says, 'No, I don't feel like doing that.'"
Aida agrees that she and Mendolia make a great workout team.
"Cynthia has a real knack for teaching, and I like her because she respects me and makes sure I enjoy what I am doing," Aida says.
She enjoys all of the workout routines Mendolia presents her with, but her favorite machine is the exercise bike.
"She rides the bike for 55 straight minutes," says Mendolia.
But Aida admits she was not always a fitness enthusiast.
"Earlier in my life, I was not really motivated to exercise," she says. "When the opportunity presented itself to me 9 years ago to change myself and improve my health with exercise, I found that I began feeling better and looking forward to each exercise session. I always feel better when I leave."
While Aida had to take a break from training at the Healthy Living Center during the pandemic, she is excited to get back to her routine this month with weekly outdoor personal training sessions. And although she may have started her workouts later in life, she says it's never too late to start.
"My friends envy my energy and what daily activities I can do in my life," says Aida. "And when they ask me for my advice, I tell them, 'You can start at any age and begin to see the benefits. It's never too late.'"
If you need help reaching your fitness goals, the Sewall Healthy Living Center at Sharp Coronado Hospital is currently offering virtual group fitness classes and outdoor personal training sessions. For more information, call 619-522-3798.