Success Stories

Staying Strong with Carol (Doukas) Cheadle

Staying Strong with Carol (Doukas) Cheadle

Carol Cheadle had a special request after sharing her fitness success story with ISSA.

The 78-year-old Philadelphia native who now makes her home in Pasadena, Calif., wanted to include her maiden name (Doukas) in hopes that there might be some friends from the old neighborhood who would recognize her.

Even better, it might get some of them to emulate her.

When not enjoying her nearly life-long passion for tap dancing, Cheadle is teaching it to children and seniors alike. She offers classes at senior centers and churches and manages to squeeze in some personal sessions as well.

And then there’s the daily exercise regimen that includes weights and cardio work.

“I don’t take any medication and I don’t have any aches or pains,” Cheadle said.

Little wonder that people are always telling her she looks so much younger than her age and how impressed they are with how active she remains. Cheadle’s usual reply? “It’s all up to the individual.”

Getting Certified With ISSA

Cheadle earned an ISSA certification in strength and fitness in 2017 and then added a nutrition certification. Her primary goal was to better understand her own body and the keys to healthy eating, but before long she realized she could use the knowledge she gained to help others.

Cheadle was seven when tap dancing was introduced to the students at her school, and it has been a central part of her life ever since. 

“I was never very athletic,” Cheadle said, “and I was heavy as a child. The first class it just hit me. I knew it was for me. It’s a great way to release frustration and tension.”

Cheadle speaks from experience when saying that, “dancing is a total body workout that demands strength, energy, and endurance.” Her daily exercise routine involves practicing dance steps while holding hand weights to build strength and maintain balance. 

“I changed my lifestyle when I was in my 40s,” Cheadle said. “I changed my diet and got plenty of exercise.”

Building a Healthier Lifestyle

“I come from an Italian background, where you have to eat everything on your plate,’ Cheadle said. “And I have always loved to eat. So, when you’re a chubby Italian child it means you’re healthy, you’re well fed.”

“As I got older, and having (three) kids, it really got hard to lose the weight,” Cheadle said. “I decided that if I was going to have any real life at all I was going to have to buckle down and lose the weight.”

“I lost some and then gained some of it back. But I stayed with it and I have been able to keep the weight off for the last 15 years.’’

Along with getting seniors to be as active as possible, Cheadle wants to do what she can to get kids to put down the video game controllers and cell phones and enjoy some physical activity. She is involved through her church teaching kids to tap dance, while also offering insight into nutrition and other forms of exercise.

Cheadle also is working on a children’s novel that she hopes to complete this summer.

“The body and the brain,” Cheadle said, “they work together. I hope to keep doing it as long as I can. I just really enjoy it. That’s what I tell my seniors: Delve into something you really enjoy.”

Feeling inspired by Carol and want to help others achieve their health and fitness goals? Check out ISSA's Certified Personal Trainer course to start your career today!

Dean Spiros

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