Gyms are often pictured as places for fit young people, but Curves Snells Beach owner Christine Rauner says the reality is quite different.
Her gym operates a 30-minute resistance training circuit with equipment that increases the resistance as you work harder.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re 50 or 100, you can still work out at a pace suitable to you with resistance training,” Christine says.
“The oldest person who trains here is 88 and she has done over 600 work outs on this circuit.”
Gym Spot Warkworth owner Tracey Frost also feels that gyms are not just a place for young people.
“The majority of my members are over 50 and recently we had a 91-year-old training for the World Masters Games,” Tracey says.
“The focus is around improving everyday functionality of the body with that age group.”
Christine says there are a number of benefits for older people going to the gym.
“The obvious one is building strength and you can build muscle at any age.
“For older people it makes daily life easier with things like getting out of the car or the bath.”
A stretching station is part of the Curves facility where balance can be improved.
“I had one women come in with two walking sticks and after one week she had thrown away one stick and after six months she was dancing.
“Women can shrink up to five centimetres between 50 and 80 so stretching also helps them do things like reach the washing line or top shelf.”
Christine says part of this is confidence, something that can be grown by attending the gym.
“A lot of older people think they are past doing physical activities, but once they start working out it gives them confidence to push themselves.”
She says health professionals recommend the gym to elderly patients for rehabilitation following things like a stroke, to lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
“It’s even good for dealing with depression, as positive endorphins are released during a work out.”