GYM FOR THE GOLDEN GIRLS

Golden girls circuit training at Studio 61 in Ansdell.  Pictured is Sandra Cane.

Golden girls circuit training at Studio 61 in Ansdell. Pictured is Sandra Cane.

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THEY say you’re only as old as you feel.

And a fitness centre in Ansdell, Studio 61, on Woodlands Road, wants everybody to know it.

The gym offers a whole host of exercise sessions and activities for all ages – including the more mature clientèle.

In fact, one member who regular attends is an impressive 87!

The studio offers – among other classes – a “golden girls circuit” for the older gym members.

It also caters for women with babies, including those who have recently given birth and women who are pregnant.

Jo Murray, fitness instructor and owner, said: “It’s so important for people to keep active and do exercise in later life.

“Muscle starts to degenerate as we get older and it’s good to keep mobile.

“It can help to avoid injuries and problems.

“It helps with coordination, it helps to keep the heart strong and of course, there is the social side too.

“There are coffee mornings, as well as classes, so there is a chance for people to chat, to make new friends.

“We have one lady who comes, who is 87 and she is fantastic. We cater for quite a niche market I suppose.

“I’d say 70 per cent of the members we have are in their 50s and over and we have about 10 ladies in their 80s who come.

“We try to offer something for people who perhaps aren’t catered for as much in the fitness industry as a whole.

“So we do get a lot of older ladies, ladies who have recently had children, ladies who are nervous about using the gym.

“We try to make things as friendly and relaxed as possible, not intimidating.

“We adapt the exercises to suit people, they can work as hard as they want to and take things at their own level.

“We get really good feedback and often people who have been once then come back with a friend.

“We have a golden girls circuit three times a week to promote strength and mobility and it’s a real social occasion for the participants.

“We play music from the 60s and 70s and everyone can have a good sing-along.”

Pam Barton, 64, who lives in St Annes, said: “I started coming last year, but then for a number of reasons, Christmas and so on didn’t come for a while.

“I enjoy it – you can work at your own level.

“It’s a very friendly atmosphere and you can work as hard as you want to.

“I feel it’s definitely important to keep active. I’ve been retired nearly five years and it’s nice to have something like this.

“If you don’t keep active and keep moving, you can end up being a real couch potato.

“It’s ideal for all age groups.”

And fellow gym-goer, Jill Hargreaves, who lives in Ansdell, said: “I was one of the first members who joined when it first opened.

“I used to go to the gym and then I finished work and retired.

“I think it’s important to keep active, to keep doing exercise, as well as meeting people.

“I didn’t want to go to one of the big gyms.

“This gym has a nice, relaxed atmosphere.

“You can work at your own level and it’s suitable for all age groups.

“It’s friendly and really is a home away from home.

“You feel good after you’ve done a class. We also have coffee mornings and other events.”