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Health Check: It is never too late to change your lifestyle

WTAP News @ 10
Published: Jan. 31, 2022 at 10:34 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - A year ago Rodney and Patricia Gibson moved to Vienna from Martinsburg to be closer to their family and grandkids. They went from a lifestyle of moving around a department store warehouse walking almost 15,000 steps a day to becoming retired and stationary in their new home.

A recent doctor’s visit for Patricia changed her and Rodney’s lifestyle choices to live a much healthier life.

“I had a doctor’s visit and she asked me to go get blood work done and when my results came back my cholesterol good and bad cholesterol was really really high and she told me that I had to make some changes in order to get my cholesterol down,” Patricia Gibson said.

“I had a stroke 10 years ago but if I don’t exercise you can feel apathy so when she went to the doctor and said that she had high cholesterol I said ‘well you know we need to join the gym and that’s going to help us physically and mentally for our benefits,” Rodney Gibson said.

Rodney’s oldest brother and father both died from congestive heart failure and the stroke Rodney suffered and Patricia’s high cholesterol were a wake-up call to change. They made small changes in their diet like swapping bacon for turkey bacon and adding more greens and nuts into their diets.

Patricia said they also changed how they cooked certain foods and leaned more towards baking instead of frying. These were the small baby steps to living a healthier lifestyle.

Dr. Walter Kerschl, the Chief Medical Officer of WVU Medicine Camden Clark, said everyone’s version of self-care healthcare is different and everyone has their own definition of what they view as healthy.

“I think it’s self-reflection on what you perceive as being healthy and there’s varying degrees of that I think it’s important that if we work on ourselves with the exercise with diet with even spiritual and you know self-reflection and understanding how we can feel better about ourselves and about what we are doing it’s not all about weight it’s about really about how you feel and you can feel healthier and you don’t have to be that that picture-perfect body or that picture-perfect sense of what being healthy is it really is it translates into your own your own self-reflection,” Dr. Kerschl said.

Louis Haer, the Director of the Camden Clark Health and Wellness Center said it’s about counting on other people like a buddy system and whatever the reason is to start making a change in your life is the mindset you need to have to keep going.

“I think it’s a mindset everybody has a different reason for a lot of things to do in their life but exercise and getting healthy seems to come to the forefront either when you’re someone who is just motivated and says “hey look it’s time for me to start exercising’ or secondly had a life event… heart attack and stroke something that tells you or your physician tells you, ‘look you better make a change or things are in the downhill quick and you’re not going to get back of the things that you really enjoy doing…’, " Haer said.

Rodney said his son’s wife has been very supportive of him and Patricia getting healthy and trying to change. For Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, the family changed their recipes to show their support. Rodney and Patricia said they have a big support system around them not only at home but also at the gym.

“We’re all doing the same thing. We’re all doing it we’re all seniors and we’re all working out to make our lives much better. So it’s a family aspect and we’re all in this together,” said Patricia Gibson.

Patricia and Rodney are also each other’s biggest supporters.

“Well, the first thing she says in the morning is ‘are you going to the gym’,” Rodney said. “So that’s right off the bat you know ok it’s a mindset well she wants to go so because I’m lazy but her pushing me and me pushing her mostly it’s her I got to admit and I support her 100 percent because when she said her cholesterol was high both levels so that’s a threat to her health and her life so it wasn’t hard to change.”

Both Patricia and Rodney agree that it is never too late to start changing your lifestyle no matter how young or old you are. It’s all about taking little steps to make a big impact.

“Start small..adds up over time and you can really build, you know, it’s kind of like building a house one brick at a time, and eventually you have this beautiful house and you can do that with your own self,” Dr. Kerschl said.

At her most recent doctor’s visit, Patricia said the doctor had a good report back to her. Patricia’s good and bad cholesterol levels are back to normal and to keep doing what she has been doing to get healthier.

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