John D. – Scared Healthy!


After some startling news from his annual physical at age 65 last year, John D. was “scared healthy”.  As soon as The ZOO Hillsboro opened its doors, John began working out regularly.  After 8 months, he (and his doctor!) have been amazed at the turnaround in his blood work!  Here is John D’s Success Story …

How did you get started on your fitness journey?

When I turned 65 last year, I went for my first annual physical in 10 years.  My cholesterol and PSA levels were extremely high and my blood pressure was high.  I was only about 7-8lbs overweight but those other levels really scared me.  I knew I had to turn my attention to getting more healthy.  I knew I had to change something.

What happened next?

First, I changed my diet, eating a lot more fruits and vegetables and eating less red meat.  And I knew I had to get back to exercising regularly.  Then, I joined the ZOO Hillsboro even before it opened.  I liked the price and the location — it is close to our house and in “our shopping center” where we shop all the time.

Why do you like about The ZOO Hillsboro?

We got to know the owners Debbie & Tim and really liked them; it’s not just a gym for us now, we have a real relationship with the place and the people there.

What are your fitness goals:

Healthy PSA levels are below 4.5 but mine were a whopping 10.5-10.6!  My cholesterol was well above 200.  So, my fitness goals were clear:  get these numbers down within a healthy range … and fast!  WITHOUT medication!

How are you doing on your goals?

By making changes initially to my diet, I was able to get my PSA levels down to 7.6.  Since I joined the ZOO last Hillsboro and started working out regularly, my most recent PSA level was 4.89!  It is amazing!  My doctor can’t even believe it!  Also, my cholesterol is down to 188 and my blood pressure is now a healthy 120/70.  I have dropped 2” from my waist and lost those few extra pounds so I am now in the healthy weight range for my age and height.  Through my workout routine, I have added muscle, so my clothes fit differently.  It is just great.  I attended a wedding in July and was able to wear a suit that I had not worn in 30 years!  I fit into it just nicely!

What is your workout routine?

Each week, my goal is to work out 4 days, but I forgive myself if I can only get there 3 times a week.  I do 45-minutes of cardio, and then 30-minutes of strength/resistance on the machines, alternating 2 days of upper body and 2 days of lower body.  Back in the 70’s I learned about “super sets” in which you work opposing muscles – so I do my 1st set at a lower weight with higher reps, then the 2nd set with higher weight and lower number of reps.  It works for me!

What have you learned along the way:

I don’t know if you remember Jack LaLanne, one of the original fitness gurus.   He was always doing amazing feats to prove that being fit made things possible.  In 1984, when he was 70, I saw him pull 70 rowboats with 70 people in them for 1 mile along a beach while wearing handcuffs and shackles!  Something about that has inspired me big time — to see that “it can be done; when you are fit and healthy, you can do these things!”

What are you next fitness goals and plans:

My next fitness frontier is to do more stretching, to increase my flexibility and balance.  I know this is especially important as my body gets older.  I’m also working towards a goal to run 5K again — I participate with the Run Wild group each Saturday and I run on the treadmill some days as part of my workout routine.  I am now able to run a bit more of the 5K each week.  And, I have a long-term goal of “seeing my 6-pack again” – I know it’s in there, I can feel it, I just want to see it!


Do you have any advice for others who are just starting  on their fitness journey?

I would say, just do something, it’s never perfect!  Starting is the hardest thing and don’t feel disheartened if you don’t actually WANT to do it, just do it!  I’m so glad when it’s a non-workout day and I am happy when each workout is done – I do it for the results, not the pleasure!  Just because I do it, doesn’t mean I like it.  I just do it.  You can too!