We can all learn something from this amazing woman! At 86, she is teaching and doing Pilates frequently to help cancer survivors like her.


Fitness Profile: At 86, she still works out six days a week


Rose Baca/Staff Photographer

Ethel LaBrancheis a two-time cancer survivor.

Exercise has always been part of Ethel LaBranche’s life. She ran for many years, then took up sailing for 15 years and eventually turned to exercise classes and Pilates. Now 86, the two-time cancer survivor teaches Pilates at Cancer Support Community North Texas to others fighting the disease. She also exercises six days a week.
If I had just 20 minutes to exercise: I would do Pilates.
What gets in the way of my workouts: Not much. Recently, health issues have slowed me down but never stopped me from exercising. I feel better physically and mentally when I exercise.
Proudest fitness moments: Seeing my senior students and cancer survivor students succeed in their fitness goals.
Favorite healthy food: Chopped salad with avocados.
Favorite indulgence: Braum’s Premium Rocky Road and Braum’s Cappuccino Chunky Chocolate.
Fitness goal: To balance flexibility and strength.
What I’d tell someone who wants to follow my routine: It will be time well spent and your body will thank you.
What my workout says about me: That I am persistent and that practice pays dividends. It also says that I have a desire for an active independent life. As I was recovering from my cancer surgery and treatment, I knew I wanted to help other cancer patients. Pilates helped me in my recovery, and I wanted to share my experience with others.
Leslie Barker