Anne White, 72, Mary Wood, 68, Mark Amphlett, Cathy Smith, 64, Ruth Bell, 72, and (front) Avis Walters, 72.
Anne White, 72, Mary Wood, 68, Mark Amphlett, Cathy Smith, 64, Ruth Bell, 72, and (front) Avis Walters, 72. {JOY BUTLER}

It's never too late to lose weight

THIS group of 50 plus women, most of whom have significant health difficulties, aren't out to prove anything... but they are. They're proving that you're never too old to get fit.

Each Thursday morning, about 11 women meet at Pialba's Anytime Fitness to row, bike, do wall tosses and push ups, side hurdles, left and right heismans, battle ropes, squats and curl presses and whatever else they can handle.


Three years ago, Anne White, 72, and Cathy Smith, 64 joined up and haven't looked back.

Since then the group has grown to include women with varied medical conditions and fitness levels.

They even have members in their 80s, Bunty Dow, at 83 years, and their oldest members Iris Grover, is 86 years old.

Anne said it keeps them young and her advice to those out there too afraid to start was that it "is never too late".

"Once you come and you do it, that's it, you realise the first step is the hardest."


Anne White, 72
Anne White, 72. {JOY BUTLER}

Ruth Bell, 72, said as a group they'd accomplished many goals, but most of all, they were fitter and had formed a solid friendship.

"We're friends and we really enjoy working out together," Ruth said.

"It's a social thing as well as a physical fitness thing."

"That's where coming to something like our classes has been really, really good ... it's the socialisation and a support group.

"So, for somebody sitting at home, don't think you have to come and watch yourself in the mirror, but to come out and do what you can.

"The people who train us, can change the exercises that we can't do."

Avis Walters, 72, said they still came in to work out when the classes weren't running.

"Even when we're closed at Christmas, we still come in and do a work out," Avis said.


Avis Walters, 72
Avis Walters, 72 {JOY BUTLER}

"We come in and do our own thing, which is good.

"You can work as hard or as easy as you like and you don't have to think you can't come to the gym because you're not skinny.

"We're all in the same boat."

Anne said it wasn't just their group who were friendly at the gym, everyone was.

"Even a lot of the regulars that are working in the main bit of the gym, they still all say 'hi' give you a wave."

Cathy said it not only worked their bodies, but their minds as well.

"We work on things like balance, it's not just purely exercise, it's keeping you mentally fit as well," Cathy said.


Cathy Smith
Cathy Smith {JOY BUTLER}

"The idea is to reduce things like falls as we get older."

"It's actually socialising with someone else instead of sitting at home all the time."

Avis added that it kept them all more flexible and able to live better for longer.

Mary Wood, 68, said "we might think it's torture one day, but we still keep coming back".


Mary Wood, 68,
Mary Wood, 68, {JOY BUTLER}

Ruth agreed with Anne, that it was never too late to start.


"Don't think you can't, these programs have been made so that you can," she said.

"If you're on health care plan or something like that, you can actually get help to come in first to see how you can manage your exercise."

Gym owner and the ladies' trainer Mark Amphlett said most of the group had gone through the B Mee program before starting.

"The B Mee exercise physiologists work out of this gym and they've got dieticians that work with them as well at their other site," Mark said.

"If you've got chronic health concerns, you'll be able to get referred to them by your doctor and have up to five visits to get you started."

The ladies advised those thinking of making the move to a move active lifestyle to talk to their general practitioner and ask them about a health care plan, as you might be surprised what is covered under Medicare.