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Fitness and friendship at Fakenham’s seated aerobics classes

PUBLISHED: 15:45 26 June 2017

A special taster session of seated aerobics, which are held weekly at Victory Housing Trust’s Heather Barrow Court in Fakenham, pictured David and Lorraine Callaby.  Pictures: Andy Newman

A special taster session of seated aerobics, which are held weekly at Victory Housing Trust’s Heather Barrow Court in Fakenham, pictured David and Lorraine Callaby. Pictures: Andy Newman

Andy Newman

Some of them may be in their 90s but a growing group of older people in Fakenham are keeping fit by taking part in regular seated aerobics classes.

A special taster session of seated aerobics, which are held weekly at Victory Housing Trust’s Heather Barrow Court in Fakenham, pictured David and Lorraine Callaby.  Pictures: Andy Newman A special taster session of seated aerobics, which are held weekly at Victory Housing Trust’s Heather Barrow Court in Fakenham, pictured David and Lorraine Callaby. Pictures: Andy Newman

A special taster session of the class, which is held weekly at Victory Housing Trust’s Heather Barrow Court, saw around 20 older people try the low-impact exercise class, designed to keep joints supple and improve mobility.

Led by instructor Karlé Parnell from North Norfolk District Council the class involved a range of stretching and movement exercises – while remaining seated the whole time.

Christine Candlish from Victory said: “Not only do these classes help older people stay fit, but there is a huge benefit from the social interaction as well. There is a lot of laughter and friendship on top of the business of keeping fit.”

A special taster session of seated aerobics, which are held weekly at Victory Housing Trust’s Heather Barrow Court in Fakenham, pictured Margeret Howes (left) and Kathleen Brunton.  Pictures: Andy Newman A special taster session of seated aerobics, which are held weekly at Victory Housing Trust’s Heather Barrow Court in Fakenham, pictured Margeret Howes (left) and Kathleen Brunton. Pictures: Andy Newman

What they said

92-year-old Kathleen Brunton, who lives at Heather Barrow Court, has been attending the classes since they started – and says she feels much fitter for having taken part.

“As well as the physical exercise, meeting people and doing it together makes you feel better. It has got easier over the weeks, and I am certainly going to carry on coming. We’d miss it if it didn’t happen now.”

79-year-old Margaret Howes comes to Heather Barrow Court from her home in the town every week to take part. “It’s fun, I really enjoy it. It’s easy to do, and you are meeting people. I find myself doing the exercises when I’m sitting in my armchair at home in front of the television, it has become part of my routine.”

A special taster session of seated aerobics, which are held weekly at Victory Housing Trust’s Heather Barrow Court in Fakenham, pictured David and Lorraine Callaby.  Pictures: Andy Newman A special taster session of seated aerobics, which are held weekly at Victory Housing Trust’s Heather Barrow Court in Fakenham, pictured David and Lorraine Callaby. Pictures: Andy Newman

David Callaby, 57, and his wife Lorraine, 59, were trying the seated aerobics class for the first time at the taster session. The couple, who live in Thorn Road in the town, were not sure what to expect of the class. David has arthritis and diabetes and is not very mobile, so was understandably apprehensive at coming to an exercise class.

“It was very good,” said David. I was able to go at my own pace, with no pressure to do things I wasn’t able to. It is really nice to be part of a group, and we will definitely come again.”

72-year-old Christina Sherlock lives at Heather Barrow Court, and has been coming to the classes since they began. “I have COPD, so basically don’t do a lot. The first time I was a bit stiff, but I now feel much fitter for it. I really enjoy it, and would say to people to come. It will benefit you and you’ll enjoy it – we have a good laugh.”

When and where

Classes take place at 11am on a Friday morning in the common room of the Heather Barrow Court sheltered housing complex in Fakenham, and cost £1 a week.

For more details, contact Jo Todd at Victory Housing Trust on 01692 502496, or email jo.todd@victoryhousing.co.uk.

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