Did you know local leisure centres run a wide range of popular sessions for people aged 50 and above? It is a great way to get active and make new friends.
You do not have to be ‘sporty’. Even if you have not taken part in any sport or exercise before, it is never too late. Everyone Active, which manages leisure centres on behalf of Ealing Council, is running activities to suit everyone aged 50 or above – whatever your ability – at four of its centres.
Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport, environment and leisure, said: “We know that healthy bodies lead to healthy minds – and this is a fantastic opportunity for people to become more active. The classes are also a great chance to meet new, likeminded people and socialise.”
‘YOU HAVE A LAUGH’
The majority of the sessions take place in the quieter part of the day, when the centres are less busy, in a very social and relaxed atmosphere.
June Thirkettle attends the weekly table tennis sessions at Northolt Leisure Centre.
She said: “I’ve been coming here a few years. I really enjoy it. We all like table tennis – we just like the game. But coming here also keeps you fit, it is good fun and you get to know people and have a laugh.”
‘THE CLASS GETS YOU GOING’
There is so much to give a go: From bowls to badminton; from gym to a swim; from yoga to table tennis; and from Zumba to aqua aerobics; and there is even a ‘stretch, jog and gym’ class which offers a mix of gentle stretching, walking or jogging and low impact exercise, with the added bonus of a cup of tea at the end.
Eve Acorn goes to aqua-aerobics at Northolt Leisure Centre twice a week and occasionally attends the table tennis session, too. She said: “Aqua-aerobics is great – particularly if you are a little bit overweight, or have a joint problem, or a small disability. The water gives you a lift and the class gets you going – it is very good exercise. You can take it to your own level, too; whatever suits you.”
‘IT IS FUN AND ENJOYABLE’
If improving your overall health is the aim, then the knowledgeable staff will only be too willing to help.
Amarjit Khambay, 61, became a member of Southall Sports Centre earlier this year. He wanted to get fitter and feel healthier. In just six months, he reached his ideal bodyweight and has also been helped by the centre’s team to improve his diet. He has even found his sleep has become better regulated. He said: “I found the atmosphere professional, warm and friendly. I feel part of the gym community now.”
PAY AS YOU PLAY
Activities can be paid for on a pay-per-session basis, so there is no need to worry about anything long term.
However, if it is a membership you are looking for, then a senior concessionary rate is available.
For more information, visit your local centre (see below) or go to www.everyoneactive.com
50+ activities: The participating leisure centres
- Northolt Leisure Centre, Eastcote Lane North UB5 4AB. Call 020 8423 7436
- Everyone Active Acton Centre, High Street, Acton W3 6NE. Call 020 8825 9001
- Southall Sports Centre, Beaconsfield Road, Southall UB1 1DP. Call 020 8571 8871
- Perivale Park Athletics Track, Stockdove Way, Perivale UB6 8TJ. Call 020 8575 5776