Seniors hitting the gym

Cade Mooney

CANCER was just a side-step for Tom and Jean Ledwidge.

Now, having beaten the disease, their drive is to keep fit and healthy.

Three-and-a-half years ago, Tom was challenged with prostate cancer. But at age 76, that wasn’t about to stop him.

Six months later, wife Jean, now 78, was diagnosed with breast cancer.

But she, too, was determined to beat it.

Hiking is a passion that takes these two spritely septuagenarians overseas regularly, so they have to stay fit and healthy.

The couple has been attending Healthworks Mooloolaba for the past 10 years and enjoying the classes offered for mature-age gym-goers.

Jean enjoys attending the Basic Moves class, which was recommended by the gym, to help with her recovery.

The class includes exercises such as strengthening, aerobics, flexibility and balance.

“In the class, we are not just doing the same moves, so we exercise all our muscles,” Jean said.

“We have got a lot of benefit from it.”

But the classes aren’t all about the exercise for this group: the social aspect keeps participants coming back.

“Joining a class of this sort is very beneficial for retired people,” Jean said.

“It’s a very nice social group and we’ve all got to know each other.”

The hour-long class runs twice a week (on Mondays and Fridays) and is beneficial even for those who do little or no exercise.

Healthworks Mooloolaba part-owner and manager Brendan Kay recommends the Basic Moves classes to everyone, especially as a means of getting back into exercise gently. “A lot of people think that as they get older, they don’t have to do any exercise,” he said.

“The Basic Moves class is aimed at people who haven’t done much exercise and want to get started, and for those who want to keep fit.

“It’s about getting people out and about and there are two things that keep people coming back – 1. The class is getting them to do fitness that is low impact; and 2. the social aspect that is involved.”

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