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An 86-year-old woman lost 120 pounds by walking back and forth in her one-bedroom apartment every day

INSIDER logoINSIDER 1/16/2019 Kelly McLaughlin
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An 86-year-old woman who struggled with obesity for much of her life lost 120 pounds by walking back and forth in her one-bedroom apartment every day.

Every morning, Jessica Slaughter, of St. Louis, Missouri, walks 3,000 steps back and forth between her living room and kitchen before starting her day, according to KSDK.

Her decision to make strides toward a healthier weight came when she was in her 70s, when a doctor told her she was pre-diabetic.

"Even as a kid in Mississippi, I was always the fattest kid in the class. I got teased a lot," Slaughter said. "I didn't know how to stop eating. Fried chicken. Bacon and eggs. Desserts, like cakes and pies."

After the doctor's appointment, Slaughter stopped eating meat, and then she started her daily walks in her apartment.

Her granddaughter suggested she track her steps with a Fitbit, and now she's up to 3,000 every morning.

Since starting her health journey, Slaughter has lost 120 pounds, and wants to encourage other elderly people to get up and move.

"I just want seniors to know just because we've gotten a certain age, we don't have to stop living," Slaughter told KSDK. "I want to tell them that there's a better way of life if they choose."

According to the Mayo Clinic, a brisk walk can help maintain a healthy weight, manage heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and strengthen your bones and muscles.

The clinic suggests people aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day, and at least 60 for more health benefits.

"It's OK to start slowly - especially if you haven't been exercising regularly," the clinic says on its website. "You might start with five minutes a day the first week, and then increase your time by five minutes each week until you reach at least 30 minutes."

Video: Woman, 86, loses weight by walking in her apartment every day.

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