Joan Stevens works out at Positive Results with trainer Sergio White.
Joan Stevens works out at Positive Results with trainer Sergio White.
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Joan Stevens is a regular fitness buff.

She’s been working out at the gym for the past 14 years and even though she celebrated her 80th birthday last month, she’s not considering giving up her twice-weekly gym sessions any time soon.

“The benefits to my overall health are one of the main reasons why I continue to go to the gym,” says Mrs Stevens.

Mrs Stevens works with personal trainer Sergio White at Positive Results. During her sessions, she lifts a variety of weights, battles intense sit-ups and takes on the notorious walking lunges.

Knowledgeable

The gym caters to older clients and was originally opened to give people the option to work out in a less intimidating environment.

“The trainers here are very knowledgeable about working with older gym goers,” says Mrs Stevens. “That was one of the main reasons for coming here. It’s a lot less intimidating than having some gorgeous 20-year-olds running around!”

She adds that a personal trainer also helps develop a programme that is tailored specifically to each person.

Along with her gym sessions, Mrs Stevens is also an active walker and she is a familiar face at many of the competitive walks put on throughout the year. She recently finished the Butterfield & Vallis 5K and is gearing up to walk the Lindo’s to Lindo’s 4-mile walk next month.

“I think a lot of older people don’t exercise because they don’t realize how many options there are out there to do different things.

“Every week at the gym it’s different and the routine changes so it never gets boring. I have it booked in the calendar so that’s motivation to keep going.”

Mrs Stevens says she also enjoys running around with her grandchildren.

“They keep me young and active,” she says.

Mr White, who has been a personal trainer since 2004, offers up some advice to help older adults get into exercise.

“Regular exercise is a crucial component in maintaining a healthy lifestyle for any individual and this does not change as we get older,” he says.

If you want to remain active as you get older but are struggling for exercises that are suited to your personal needs, he suggests a few ideas below that can help you stay fit and healthy as you get older:

Swimming

Swimming offers a great alternative to the high impact, high intensity exercises. I suggest swimming as it is beneficial for a number of reasons; it is an excellent way of maintaining or increasing muscle strength or muscle tone.

More importantly, swimming is a low-impact exercise, it is not too strenuous on the body and significantly reduces the opportunity to incur injuries associated with other forms of exercise.

Walking

It is important that exercise has as a high level of social interaction.

An activity high in sociability is likely to produce better motivation and consequently better results.

Perhaps the most obvious form of exercise is walking and this idea of social interaction is very much applicable.

The idea is to make the exercise as fun as possible and walking with friends, especially around a park or other scenic location, can be very enjoyable.

Some ideas may include walking with the grandchildren to school or taking part in group walks.

Both should help reduce the idea of a typical exercise as your social interaction and interests have become more important.

Stretching and yoga

There is perhaps a stigma that exercise has to be fulfilled either outside or at the gym and for most exercises this is the case; stretching, however, is one exercise which you can enjoy within your home.

Stretching is an effective way of maintaining flexibility and freedom of movement and therefore you will find it has a direct link to your ability to enjoy other activities.

Like stretching, yoga offers a simple yet effective approach to exercise and I recommend it due to the various physical and mental benefits it will provide.

Yoga is very relaxing. It will help strengthen your muscles and improve joints mobility.

Yoga is an exercise that will help keep your mind healthy, in turn creating a positive outlook on other exercises you may try.

Hire a personal trainer

A personal trainer is an exercise professional who designs a personalized programme especially for you, based on your short- and long-term goals.

Your personal trainer then trains you to meet those goals. Reasons to consider hiring a trainer include:

-You may enjoy the privacy of individual instruction, especially if you are a beginner and are uncomfortable working out in an environment with experienced exercisers.

-One-on-one instruction fits easily into your busy schedule because it offers efficient exercise sessions with optimal results.

-You may have physical considerations or limitations due to illness, injuries, etc, and need a trainer to design a programme for your specific needs.

Positive Results is located at 2 Woodlands Road. For more information, call 295-0297.