Sara Pratt-Spangler, 55, of Williamston, knows the secret to a healthy lifestyle: Keep moving! “It’s a privilege to exercise,” she said. “Motion is lotion. I’ve lived that mantra throughout my adult life.”
Pratt-Spangler, who works at a local funeral home and fitness center, was diagnosed with lupus in her 20s. Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s healthy tissue.
“Some days my lungs are really bad,” she said. “That’s why it’s important for me to listen to my body. Every day can be different with my fitness plans. It’s hard to accept my limitations sometimes, but I won’t let myself get down.”
Staying active and setting endurance athletic event goals have kept her focused on a healthy lifestyle. She said she learned to stay active and be as healthy as possible, from watching her mother, who dealt with rheumatoid arthritis her whole adult life.
“She taught us the pleasure of staying active,” she said. “She demonstrates it to this day as hard as it is to for her to keep moving,” Pratt-Spangler said her workouts vary throughout the week, including time with a trainer. She said she runs, lifts, swims among other things, and always takes time to stretch.
“The workout day with Dale Williams is like no other,” she said. “It’s an hour of hard work!”
She said no matter what she does she makes sure to listen to her body. “If I’m training for an event, I follow a strict schedule,” she said. “Then there are some days that within 30 minutes my body says, ‘nope, not today!’ I respect that 100 percent.”
She said she follows a clean eating lifestyle by avoiding processed food and eating smart. Sweets are her weak spot, but she makes sure not to give in to temptation by limiting the sweets as much as possible.
“I give my body what it needs and wants for fuel,” she said. Dealing with the lupus diagnosis has made her determined to live life to the fullest. “I found out that a strong positive mindset and healthy lifestyle really dictate many diseases,” she said. “I promised myself I would do everything I could to avoid the traditional route of synthetic medications. It’s proven successful so far.”
She said she plans to do a full Ironman and ultra run. Pratt-Spangler and her husband, Thomas, have already completed longer distance triathlons. “Take care of you first,” she said. “Always have a tender heart, you are worth it.”