Seniors keep fit and healthy

Katie Links, 80, has been with the Bluegum Fitness Club since its inception five years ago.

Exercising for the mind, body and spirit.

That is the motto of the Bluegum Fitness Club in Bonteheuwel, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary.

FounderJennifer Grey said she had a vision to start an exercise club for all the women who were at home during the day – with many facing challenges within their families.

“Here we can destress, exercise, and socialise. We also have a lot of outings and weekends away,” Ms Grey said.

The club has grown from 10 members to 50, and women from the age of 40 have joined up.

The group is not only there for the members’ physical health, but also to support one another emotionally and spiritually.

Members have transformed one of the store rooms at the Bluegum community centre -where they meet – into a prayer room.

“If we have problems or illnesses, we go to the prayer room. And we have members from the Christian and Muslim faiths,” Ms Grey said.

Many of the members can share stories of how being part of the club improved their health.

Some have chronic illnesses, but have made remarkable improvement that they are even off the medication. Joyce Gouvea said she was so unfit when she joined the club, that she couldn’t even bend. “I have high blood pressure, but since being with the club, it’s all under control now,” Ms Gouvea added.

Nawaal Hassiem said an injury left her with “eight screws in my back”, and the exercise has helped her deal with the pain.

Doris Cochlan used a walking stick when she joined the club, but she no longer needs it, and Jamiela Davids had hip replacement surgery, but not even that can slow her down.

Katie Links, 80, is the club’s oldest member, who has been with the group since its inception.