78-year old Body Builder Keynotes Seniors Health and Wellness Event, Oct. 25


UnitedHealthcare will presents its newest event series, “A Better You”, on Saturday, October 25 from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Preservation Park’s Nile Hall, 668 13th Street in Oakland.

Ernestine Shepherd, a 78-year old world record-breaking body builder and personal trainer, will be the keynote speaker. Twenty years ago, Shepherd and her sister, unsatisfied with how they looked, decided to start exercising to get in shape. When her sister passed from a brain aneurysm soon after, Shepherd says she promised her sister that she would try to motivate and inspire others to live healthy, happy, positive and confident lifestyles through exercising.

And she has kept her promise. She has since appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, and CNN with Anderson Cooper. She has also been featured in Ebony, Essence, and Jet Magazine, and holds the Guinness World Record for the “Oldest Female Bodybuilder”.

“As we grow in age, it’s up to us to care for our vessel. We only get one,” said Shepherd, who admits she suffered with acid reflux, panic attacks, high blood pressure, and depression before she started working out.

The educational health and wellness event is geared towards African American seniors in Oakland and is designed to promote and celebrate the vitality of the Black body. The event will feature noted community leaders to give attendees an opportunity to learn more about the importance of exercising and living healthy lifestyles in their older years.

“[The event’s] mission is to raise awareness and promote wellness and that’s so in line with my life’s work,” she added. “It was a no brainer for me to want to be a part of this celebration.”

Community partners for the event include Allen Temple Baptist Church, First Congregational United Church of Christ, and the Imani Community Church.


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