Elderly get active with special exercise class in Minchinhampton

Stroud News and Journal: Elderly women take part in an exercise class at The Hub in Minchinhampton, the exercise classes were set up and sponsered by Minchinhampton GP Charitable Trust (2876191) Elderly women take part in an exercise class at The Hub in Minchinhampton, the exercise classes were set up and sponsered by Minchinhampton GP Charitable Trust (2876191)

FOR the men and women who turn out to weekly exercise classes at The Hub in Minchinhampton, the get-togethers mean much more than just movement to music.

The classes for the over 65s improve balance, strength and mobility and also offer an important social aspect.

Claire Bader, a qualified Extend teacher, leads the gentle exercise to music on Tuesday mornings.

"It is aimed at enabling them to have an independent life," said Claire, who also runs exercise classes for the elderly in Stroud, Randwick and Nailsworth.

"We work on key skills such as standing, balance, strength to get out of a chair and reaching for things on shelves.

"Improving these skills will keep them free from dependency on other people.

"We also work a lot on coordination, which is great for the mind as well as the body.

"Breathing technique is also important as we need to oxygenate the body, and it is a social activity which stops isolation.

"I see improvements in people each week."

The class was set up last year and is sponsored by Minchinhampton GP Charitable Trust and has steadily risen from a class of five to 28.

The oldest member is 91-year-old Edith Wadsworth.

"I decided to come along because everybody at Stuart Court where I live was talking about it," she said.

"I really enjoy it, the exercise is good for me and I enjoy the music.

"Doing light exercise is good for you as you get older, rather than sitting at home watching the television or doing some knitting."

Margaret McLardy, 89, has been attending the class for the past six months after it was recommended by her doctor.

"The doctor thought it would do me good and it has definitely helped me," she said.

"I am steadier on my feet. I kept falling before."

Minchinhampton GP Charitable Trust was set up to enhance services available at Minchinhampton surgery.

For more information about the class go to www.minchinhampton.org

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