My mum has recently started using a gym for exercise, at the age of 76. I asked her to write a bit about how she is finding the experience, in order to inspire others, who may think they are “too old for the gym”. Here is what she had to say…
Before lockdown, I used our local Nuffield Gym only for the classes there…yoga, pilates, body balance…and eyed the vast range of machinery in the gym itself with great suspicion.
Bemoaning recently to Rachel that classes were not resuming till the middle of May, she told me to go to the gym as soon as it opened on the glorious 12th April.
“What would I do?” I asked. “Use a bike”, she replied.
So dutifully I did just that, and as I pedalled, not very fast, I looked around at the other machines and what people were doing on them. I was the watcher, not them. No one took any notice of me at all. They were all far too busy sweating away with their weight lifting or high-speed running and cycling.
A treadmill seemed the next likely machine for my sedate pace, provided I could control it which turned out to be easy, and I could watch the news at the same time…bonus there.
I asked the friendly staff, who kindly ignored my grey hair and lined face, for other gentle machines, and was shown the leg extension which you can work as little or much as you want as long as you do not lock your knees…my ‘new knee’ surgeon would not have approved of that. The inner thigh machine, however, did not fit with my programme of 10 minutes on each machine, as this muscle, in me anyway, is very feeble and only copes with occasional bouts of activity for considerably less than 10 min!
My time in the gym is now my best hour of the day… topped off with a lie-down, yoga style of course, legs up the wall – again no one is watching me thank goodness – on one of the mats in the quiet part of the gym.
So thank you, daughter, for pushing me. I’m proof that you are never too old to learn a new way to look after your health!
Rachel Law is a personal fitness trainer based in New Malden, Surrey. Qualifications: ActivIQ Level 3 Personal Training; Burrell Education Pregnancy Exercise Prescription; Burrell Education Advanced Pregnancy Wellness Practitioner; Burrell Education Advanced Post Natal Exercise Prescription; Burrell Education 3rd Age Women Optimal Health and Nutrition; Burrell Education Peri Natal Athlete; Burrell Education Pelvic Flow and Freedom; Olympic Weight Lifting; Premier Global Kettlebells; FIE Level Assessment and Mentoring