At 73, Ernestine Shepherd Shows That Love Can Do a Body Good

Well into her 70's, the fitness champ runs 80 miles each week and teaches exercise classes at her church.

By Jamilah King Apr 12, 2011

We all make good-intentioned exercise plans that, for whatever reason, end up falling by the wayside. This year mine included Bikram Yoga classes in two different cities and an often neglected gym membership. But Ernestine Shepherd puts in work. Well into her 70’s, Shepherd is a bodybuilding champion who lifts weights nearly every day and runs at least 80 miles each week. In between all of that, Shepherd still finds the time to teach exercise classes to senior citizens at her Baltimore church and gym.

"They feel that they can’t come into the exercise class," Shephard, who didn’t start exercising in earnest until age 60, told reporters last year. "I reach out to them to let them know that they too can exercise."

So here’s go Shepherd’s love of self, body and community. We’re ending the day as often as possible by celebrating love. We welcome your ideas for posts. Send suggestions to, and be sure to put Celebrate Love in the subject line. You can send links to videos, graphics, photos, quotes, whatever. Or just chime in to the comments below and we’ll find you. Be sure to let us know you’ve got the rights to share any media you send.

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