Montco senior's fitness earn Disney 5K invitation

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One Montgomery County woman has lessons to share on meeting the challenge to stay in shape during the new year. (WPVI)

The gyms are crowded right now with those vowing to get in shape this year.

The challenge is to keep that momentum going.

One Montgomery County woman is a great example of how to do it.

Age can't catch 71-year-old Ronnie Nitka - she's always moving.

Five days a week, she goes to the Abington YMCA for EnhanceFitness classes.

But that's just a start -

"Once I'm here, I'm gonna do two classes a day - so that's about 10 classes a week," says Ronnie, pausing briefly from her daily exercise.

Lately, she's also been putting time in on the treadmill, training to walk Thursday's 5K race at Disney World.

"I was on the treadmill, measured 3.2 miles in 60 minutes. so I know I can do that," she says.

Ronnie tried to stay active during her working years, because she always had jobs mostly sitting.

And she's been fighting her family's medical history.

"My father passed away when he was 50, and my mother also had a heart attack, my older sister passed away at age 67," she notes.

After retirement 9 years ago, Ronnie stepped up the exercise.

But she says EnhanceFitness, which is geared toward seniors, has made the biggest difference, especially when she travels abroad.

"I travel with some young people, and I do keep up," she says with a big smile.

"If you want to walk up the steps to kiss the blarney stone, as I did, you have to have good leg muscle strength," she adds.

And she says ancient cobblestone streets are a breeze now.

CIGNA HealthSpring, which sponsors both EnhanceFitness and the 5K race, invited Ronnie because she shows what the class has done for many seniors.

We've seen their fitness levels improve. they've felt more mobile, and more active. it's been an overwhelmingly positive experience," notes Dr. Laura Reich of CIGNA HealthSpring.

Ronnie's walk tomorrow doesn't end with the race.

Her niece and great-niece are also going to Disney and they intend to see EVERYTHING at the parks.

So she'll do even more walking!

Disney is the parent company of 6ABC.

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