Martha "Mollie" Van Bolt

Martha "Mollie" Van Bolt, Participant, Enhance Fitness

Mollie Van Bolt

Martha Van Bolt (Mollie) has attended more than 300 Enhance Fitness sessions since 2010. If that isn’t impressive enough, knowing she recently celebrated her 100th birthday is.

Born in 1916, she credits a long lifetime to being physically active, staying healthy, and eating fresh fruits and vegetables from her garden. “I really think that moving is the most important thing and I suppose the second most important thing would be choice of food,” said Mollie.

Growing up with her grandparents, she learned to love gardening. “When I grew up in the twenties, almost every family had a garden. You didn’t have to be a farmer to have a garden. At the age of four I became my grandfather’s helper,” said Mollie.

Attending Enhance Fitness classes contributes to her ability to still garden today. She said she doesn’t want to get stuck on the ground while she is gardening alone and wants to avoid calling someone to help her up because “that doesn’t look very good for a gardener.”

Enhance Fitness is a physical activity program offered by the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan (NKFM) throughout southeast Michigan. It’s aimed primarily at adults and is designed to improve functional fitness and well-being. The classes focus on balance, strength, endurance, and flexibility exercises and are adjustable to all levels of fitness.


These sessions are held at the Turner Senior Resource Center in Ann Arbor and are primarily taught by Paul Clark of Detroit. Mollie attends every Friday and absolutely loves the trainer, Paul. She is thankful for both him and the NKFM’s Enhance Fitness helping her stay mobile.

Project Enhance sent Mollie a t-shirt for her birthday and the NKFM, along with her Enhance Fitness class, threw a party for her to celebrate. 

One Enhance Fitness participant, Donna Baird, played her violin and taught class members some simple dances during the party. Mollie greatly enjoyed dancing along and at one point ditched her cane in order to fully get into the swing of things!

Mollie said that smoking no more than five cigarettes in her lifetime is one reason for her long life. Some advice she gives is “Remember to wake up each morning and get up!”

According to family, she’s always still looking for the next adventure. For more information about Enhance Fitness and to locate a class in your area, visit www.nkfm.org.