Active ageing at 85

MARGUERITE Petit says that you have to keep moving and on the go as you get older to stay strong and healthy.

With four children, 13 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren she is a wonderful example of active ageing.

At 85 years old Marguerite has been participating in the Living Longer Living Stronger program at Swan Park Leisure Centre for 10 years. This is a specially designed exercise program for the over 50s.

It concentrates on progressive strength training which has proved to have a huge impact on wellbeing and improved quality of life for older adults.

The Living Longer Living Stronger program provides safe, fun and personalised sessions in approved facilities by expert trainers.

Marguerite said that she decided to start the program as she was suffering from the effects of arthritis and was taking a lot of medication.

“I don’t like taking medication and this program has really helped my arthritis and reduced with my aches and pains,” she said.

Marguerite says that she wished she had started the program earlier.

“As you get older I find that the stretching is one of the most important activities to keep doing, it makes a big difference to how you feel every day.”

She attends the classes twice a week and says she now rarely takes any medications.

“About four years ago I had a fall and broke my femur, it took me about a year to really recover but I came back to the program and it really made a difference.

“I like coming to Swan Park as the instructors are really good and we have a lovely group of about 25 people who attend my sessions and we all get along so well.

“Sometimes I think I won’t go to a session, but I push myself because it makes such a difference to how I feel so I try not to miss any.

“I have made some great friends through the program and after the sessions we enjoy a coffee and a chat,” she said.

Marguerite’s advice to other people is to ‘come and exercise’ it will change your life.