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EXERCISE FOR THE ELDERLY: Age UK streams special fitness classes for older folk!

EXERCISE FOR THE ELDERLY: Age UK streams special fitness classes for older folk!

Image: RusbyMedia - Ann Aisbitt, 76, taking part in online fitness classes from Age UK North Tyneside.

Celebrities have been keeping kids fit across the country during lockdown, and now a North East charity is doing the same for the elderly.

Following in the footsteps of celebs like Joe Wicks and Mr Motivator, Age UK North Tyneside has launched a six-week Winter Warmers & Workout campaign, where more than 70 online fitness classes will keep people in shape during the latest lockdown.

The campaign was launched earlier this week, and includes a host of workouts, as well as online social events where older people can catch up with friends or take part in games.

Ann Aisbitt, 76 (pictured), has been taking part in the charity’s fitness classes.

Ann said: “I’m not always the most confident with technology but getting online and onto a class was actually really easy.

“Once I was taking part I had so much fun, and I can already feel the difference the classes have made to me physically. I feel much stronger and I have a renewed confidence in myself.

“Not only are these classes keeping me fit and healthy, but having interaction with people is absolutely vital for my mental health, and so being able to speak to people on a regular basis is fantastic, too.

“I would encourage any older person to get involved. The instructors are brilliant and the classes are so enjoyable.”

The fitness classes include Tai Chi, Strength and Balance and even Walking Bingo.

Meanwhile, quizzes, nature talks from the National Trust and even ‘Cuppa With a Copper’ – where people can speak to a local police officer – are keeping people entertained and informed during lockdown.

For those who struggle to use the internet, the charity is even offering a DVD resource and printed resource pack.

Age UK North Tyneside’s Strength and Balance Trainer Nicola Evans is leading classes for the North Shields-based charity.

She said: “Before lockdown we had a lot of referrals from places like fall clinics, and we would then run a 12-week course to help them recover.

“Since lockdown we have had to adapt to do things online, and most people are finding it easier than they thought! Once people are online there is a friendly team there to help them access the exercises they need.

“People taking part get some social time, a chance to chat with other people and the benefits that come with doing the exercises we are teaching, like improved strength, balance and confidence.”

Head of Charity Services at Age UK North Tyneside Yvonne Probert added: “Exercising with others and being in a social group can help you stay healthy, energetic and independent.

“Finding things to do on long and dark winter days is a chore for us all but hopefully our online groups, exercise DVD and resources pack can give you some ideas to help keep in good health at home.”

For more information about the classes and other services offered by Age UK North Tyneside, head to www.ageuk.org.uk/northtyneside/.

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