‘Still going strong: My secret to staying fit and healthy for the past 40 years’

Jun 25, 2020
This community member recalls her first aerobics class and how it led to life-long health, wellness and friendship. Source: Getty Images

The year was 1980, I was 26 and just had my first child (who is now 40). I was keen to get into shape and stay fit and had heard about a new weekly aerobics class at the Smithfield RSL in New South Wales, so I decided to pay a visit and check it out.

The brightly coloured leotards, head bands and leg warmers, which were all the rage in the ’80s, immediately grabbed my interest as instructor Kerry led ladies of all fitness levels briskly through moves to the fast-paced tunes of the day. The diversity of ages, shapes and sizes all working out in what was clearly a social atmosphere was just what I was looking for and so I signed up without hesitation.

I remember my first class vividly. It was all new to me and I really worked up a sweat. Most importantly though, everyone got on well and some of us formed close friendships, with the coffee shop downstairs becoming a popular meeting place after burning off the calories in class.

In the latter part of my pregnancy with child number two (who is now 36), the girls from aerobics used to giggle at my bouncing belly and joked about the baby popping out right there on the auditorium floor. Fortunately that didn’t happen and soon after he was born I was right back in class again, doing what I loved.

Over the years, Kerry’s unwavering commitment to keep the spirit alive has seen our group celebrate countless birthdays, attend dinner parties, escape on weekends away, laugh together and comfort each other in the darker times. While we are now in our 60s, 70s and 80s and admittedly the routines have been toned down slightly, we still work up a sweat and enjoy every second of it.

Unfortunately, due to coronavirus restrictions, our class was been suspended, but it didn’t dampen our enthusiasm and we still caught up via phone and social media. Hopefully, come October, we will be able to celebrate our 40 years together in style.

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