Monday, December 19, 2011
A Life Well-Lived: Bonnie Prudden
Bonnie Prudden, fitness guru
An early champion of physical fitness, Prudden was an author, instructor and entrepreneur who followed her own advice and exercised regularly until her death at 97 on Dec. 11.
Long before Michele Obama adopted her campaign against childhood obesity, Prudden had been part of a study team that documented America’s out-of-shape youth in 1955 for another president—Dwight Eisenhower. As a result of the report, Eisenhower called for the creation of “The President’s Council on
The woman who, with her husband, climbed the Matterhorn on her honeymoon was one of the first fitness instructors with a national presence on TV. An author of 15 books, Prudden developed exercise classes for babies, the blind , those who wanted to improve their sex lives or prevent incontinence. She invented exercise equipment, rock walls and a line of fitness apparel. That’s a full-body leotard of her design that Prudden is wearing on the cover of Sports Illustration.
Despite a broken pelvis in her 20s and a triple bypass in her 90s, she never stopped working out. “ You can’t run back the clock,” Prudden said, “But you can rewind it.