Medically Oriented Gym Promotes Active Aging

Steve Van Dam, Coordinator of Story Medical’s Medically Oriented Gym (MOG), is often asked “How old is too old to exercise?” His answer is quick: “No one is too old.” And for those who give him some push-back, he simply points across the gym to Alma O’Donnell.

Alma, who will turn 99-years-old in April 2019, has been a regular in Story Medical exercise classes since she was the tender age of 80. Full of energy and a quick wit, Alma attributes her active lifestyle to her work in the gym.

“There is very little I can tell you is wrong with me,” Alma says. “And I know that exercising several times a week is why.”

Alma attends morning workouts in the MOG on a regular basis. The MOG provides medically-supervised exercise sessions for those recovering from an injury or illness or those who require a more structured workout. Steve says Alma is remarkable.

“She inspires me,” he says. “It’s awesome to see someone that age still able to do what she does both physically and mentally.”

Prior to joining the MOG, which Story Medical rolled out in Spring 2018, Alma participated in a number of other Story Medical fitness offerings. She says the atmosphere is one of encouragement and acceptance.

“When I was doing weights, I really enjoyed that,” she says. “And it was a group of younger people and that was really exciting for an older lady like me. They treated me so well. We’ve really got a good group of people here.”

Alma’s exercise routine, combined with the loving companionship of her dog at home, have her feeling on top of the world as she moves closer to her centennial birthday.

“I feel I’m very, very lucky to still be able to do this,” she says. “It’s been a pleasure—not work, but a pleasure—for me to come to this exercise program and be around these people.”

For information on the Story Medical MOG, visit or call us at (515) 382-7116.