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Senior brothers tackle fitness, fun through Shape Up Cape

Thursday, July 1, 2004

Age wasn't a consideration when Rupert Meyer and Thomas L. Meyer decided to join the Shape Up Cape program.

Rupert, who is 75, and his brother, Thomas, who is 85, joined because they want to stay in shape.

Shape Up Cape is an exercise program run by the Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce that encourages businesses and organizations to form teams and earn points based on the amount and type of exercise they complete.

"The program made me aware that I constantly have to exercise and diet," Rupert said.

And Rupert didn't join the program because he wants to lose weight. His goal is to live longer.

This is the first time Rupert or Thomas have been involved in the annual program that runs from May 15 to Sept. 25, but they plan on staying with it.

"I've set my own pace and do what I want to," Rupert said. "Between walking and using the treadmill, I keep up pretty well."

For this program, Rupert has set up a schedule he's comfortable with, exercising three to five times a week. He advises others, particularly older people, that the activities don't have to be strenuous and shouldn't be painful.

"Listen to your body," Rupert said. "Just get your heart rate up and don't overdo it."

Thomas has had his own routine for several years and stays active by performing manual labor like cutting grass and doing other work outside. He devotes 10 to 20 minutes a day, five days a week, to the program.

"I don't have any problem staying motivated," Thomas said. "I'm interested, I like it and I do this so I can get around."

Rupert and Thomas are members of one of Thomas L. Meyer Realty's two five-member teams.

But they aren't spending a lot of time worrying about who will win the Shape Up Cape contest. They're just happy with the benefits that they're already receiving.

Thomas believes that exercise and having the right attitude are the reasons he has lived as long as he has.

"I'm very active," Thomas said. "If you don't exercise, you're going to wake up in the morning lethargic, with no energy. And it keeps you alert mentally"

While Thomas plans to keep up with his own routines, he likes Shape Up Cape because it was designed to involve many members of the community.

"It's a community effort. That's what made it interesting," Thomas said, "The need was there, and I was glad to see someone make a move to recognize that exercise is important and can be fun."

dfarley@semissourian.com

335-6611 extension 226


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