A Torry Sports Centre regular who is thought to be one of Sport Aberdeen’s oldest participants has offered up her secrets to readers for a long, healthy and active life.
Georgina has attended Easy Movers exercise classes weekly for the last three years and attributes this, alongside an active lifestyle, to a long and healthy life.
The Easy Movers class is run through registered charity Sport Aberdeen as part of the Active Ageing Programme. The sessions are designed to be suitable for a wide range of abilities, including seated and standing elements.
Georgina said: “I have always been an active lady throughout my day-to-day life. The secret to keeping healthy and active is to keep those legs moving. I love it.”
Director for sport and active lifestyles Jo Bell said: “Georgina’s pearls of wisdom are an inspiration to us all. Sport Aberdeen is committed to ensuring everyone has the opportunity to take part in sport and physical activity, and our Active Ageing programmes are extremely popular. It’s not just about keeping active, but about having fun and socialising.”
So Georgina, what is your secret?
I started coming to the Easy Movers classes three years ago, when I was 90. Housework also keeps me active!
Why did you take up Easy Movers?
I started to lose my balance somewhat so after seeing my doctor he referred me to Fall Classes. This is how I learnt about Easy Movers. This class helps a lot with balance. It keeps me active every week – although I am a little sore for a few days after.
Have you always been an active person?
Working as an auxiliary nurse for 10 years kept me very active, and of course having a family to look after keeps you on your feet. I hadn’t ever taken an exercise class until I retired at 60. I decided to learn to swim as this is something I had never been taught, and there was no time like the present. I also took up hillwalking.
Diet: what rules, if any, do you live by?
I have always had an old fashioned and healthy diet so it isn’t something I have ever really thought about. I am not into any of the modern stuff.
What is your message to anyone, of any age, who is thinking about taking up fitness?
Get up and do it now! Get out one day a week, or two if you can, and get active. Don’t sit in front of the TV all day. Go to a fitness class and I am sure you will enjoy it. For anyone young, my advice to you would be to start exercising now.
What motivates you and what do you do at Easy Movers?
Our instructor is amazing – she really keeps us all going and we all motivate each other. The loud music keeps you going too! We do all sorts, from arms to legs and to our feet, we get a whole body workout. The group morale and camaraderie is brilliant and really spurs you on. We are a very sociable lot and always stay for a cup of tea after the class – it’s part of the joy of it.
Iwona Jakubiec, Sport Aberdeen’s Easy Movers instructor, said: “I have been taking the class for five years now and it is amazing to see how it really benefits people and changes lives. Easy Movers is for anyone aged 55 and over, looking to either start or carry on a fit and healthy lifestyle. Within my classes I have regular participants with different illnesses: strokes, post-op participants, post-physio and the list goes on.
“Due to the nature of the exercise programme I have developed, anyone of almost any ability can join in with the classes. We use chairs for all the exercises, meaning that if you are unstable or unbalanced you can simply steady yourself on the chair or sit down for as long as you need. There are different levels of every exercise we do so that everybody can join in.
“We cover everything from weights, lunges and squats. It’s a full body workout – age is not an excuse!”
Alongside the obvious health benefits of keeping active, the group, which meets on a Tuesday and Thursday, is like one big family.
“It is a very sociable affair. We go out at Christmas for lunch and often go out and about in the summer months for a walk or a little coffee al fresco. There are a lot of regular Easy Movers who return each week, many of whom attend my classes twice a week.
“The group is extremely welcoming and I would encourage anyone who is considering taking up physical activity to come along and give it a go. Whether you can attend the fitness class or not, there is always tea and coffee afterwards. Come down for a chat or try out a class.”