Posted: Monday 9th July 2018
If you’re thinking about trying to get more active but need a bit of inspiration, take a leaf out of Laurie Kerr’s book and head to your local gym.
When 83-year-old Ickleford resident Laurie started experiencing sharp back pain and leg weakness 18 months ago, he was forced to visit two doctors and two different hospital specialists.
He said: “I was told that I had Spinal Stenosis in three places and was given two injections into the root of the spinal nerve. I enquired about taking up exercise and was told that it would definitely help.”
Laurie’s son was visiting from New Zealand, so he took his dad along to Beowulf Crossfit gym in Letchworth and introduced him to the personal trainers there.
“They wrote me a special programme of exercises and I have been going ever since,” Laurie continued. “On an average visit I use the rowing machine, do squat thrusts, crunches, step ups, and workout with a 5kg ball and ‘The Beast’ - a large metal sledge with extra weights!”
Laurie has now lost over 9kg, his back and legs are much stronger and the pain has reduced. His 77-year-old wife Vivien, who already does keep fit and Pilates, has also joined him.
He added: “Taking regular exercise is definitely a positive thing to do, especially if one has to combat blood sugar levels rising in diabetes and also cope with bouts of depression.
“My motto for all older people is: Instead of waiting for the NHS to light the lamp at the end of the tunnel, go down there and light it yourself!”
Hertfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health, Richard Roberts, added: “Physical activity is nature’s prescription, as it has so many physical and mental health benefits whatever our age.
“There are many enjoyable ways to keep active; clubs and gyms like this are a vital part of our community, a fantastic way to help you keep fit and have a wonderful social side.
“It’s Never Too Late to enjoy being active so that you can keep doing the things you love!”
You can sign up to the It’s Never Too Late to be Active campaign until 15 July 2018 at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/nevertoolate or by calling 0300 123 4044. You will get a free activity pass for you and a friend and 12 weeks of personalised support to help you get more active.