Gym junkie seniors

Grandma turns into real gym junkie

GET FIT: Ann Matthews does sit ups on a fitness ball during a seniors exercise class at Ipswich Fitness. The classes are very popular and are tailored to an older demographic.
GET FIT: Ann Matthews does sit ups on a fitness ball during a seniors exercise class at Ipswich Fitness. The classes are very popular and are tailored to an older demographic. Claudia Baxter

KARANA Downs grandmother, Ann Matthews might be too old for a lot of things, but working out at the gym isn't one of them.

The 72-year-old is among a group of oldies who each week don their lycra and trainers to take part in a unique fitness program.

Led by trained fitness professionals at Ipswich Fitness, seniors can take part in bi-weekly workout sessions, specially tailored to suit the elderly.

The initiative, called Fit 4 Seniors, started 18 months ago and has since doubled in number.

Sessions now attract about 40-50 people - some as old as 80.

Mrs Matthews said she found out about the class through cardiac rehab 10 months ago and had been a regular participant since.

"The class has really helped me with my balance and co-ordination as well as my general fitness," she said. "After going for a while, you suddenly realise you can do a lot more than you thought you could."

Mrs Matthews said another benefit of the program was the social aspect and she had developed a lot of new friendships via the classes.

Ipswich Fitness senior exercise therapist Gay Wilson, who implemented the program at the centre, said the sessions helped both physical and mental health.

"I wanted to create a program where elderly people could receive professional workout assistance within a comfortable environment," she said. "I also wanted to keep it cheap and give seniors the opportunity to socialise afterwards."

Classes are held each Tuesday and Thursday from 9am with class from 9.30am - 10.30am.

Each class costs $5 per session. For more information phone 3812 1778.



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