Fun and fitness for seniors

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Shannon SmithThe West Australian
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Vivian and Dermot Buckley at the Albany Leisure and Aquatic Centre.
Camera IconVivian and Dermot Buckley at the Albany Leisure and Aquatic Centre. Credit: Shannon Smith

Not everyone can be as fit as 72-year-old triathlete Dermot Buckley but a new exercise program for over 60s will help seniors on the south coast stay active and independent.

The City of Albany, Shire of Denmark and Shire of Plantagenet have joined forces to create Long Live You, which offers a range of fun, low-impact activities at senior’s rates.

The first term of the program, starting on August 5, will be free.

The Albany Leisure and Aquatic Centre will run chair yoga sessions for seniors with mobility issues, aqua classes, Zumba and much more.

Project officer Catherine Bailey said that regardless of your physical ability, it was never too late to start exercising.

“We want to make it a welcoming, non-daunting place for people who see their friends doing it but say ‘that’s not for me’,” she said.

“We are trying to show it is not all gym programs — there are all sorts of things you can do.

“We really want people to feel involved and connected and do exercise for the social aspect.

“Whatever your level of mobility or fitness, come see us and we can find something to get you involved in.”

Two-time Albany Senior Sportsperson of the Year Dermot Buckley and his wife Vivian are frequent users of ALAC facilities.

Mr Buckley said you did not have to be a marathon runner to start exercising.

“It is important that people just do exercise for their normal functioning daily process,” Mr Buckley said.

“I hear so many stories of people starting exercise after they retire and they are very successful stories.

“Come down and give it a try and meet other people — it has a very good social aspect.

“I have the full membership and it costs me one pint of beer, or two coffees per week, and I have access to everything.”

Mrs Buckley said exercising regularly could reduce aches and pains.

“I know a lot of people who are on an aged pension, and when you are at the doctors they say you need to do more exercise,” she said.

“There is a lot of incentive when you know it is subsidised by the community or shire.”

A morning-tea open day will be held at ALAC on Friday, August 2, from 10am to 3pm.

For information, call 6820 3400 for Albany, 9484 0344 for Denmark and 9851 2122 for Mt Barker.

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