Health Ageing

69-year-old fitness instructor shares her passion to encourage older people to be physically active

We are all facing challenging and unprecedented times, but so many people and groups across Greater Manchester are doing positive and amazing things in response to COVID-19.

We have launched #SpiritofGM, to showcase some of the stories from across the city-region of what residents and communities are doing to help others.

One Greater Manchester resident is putting her skills into action to help inspire. Rosemary Mallace is a 69-year-old online fitness instructor whose passion is to encourage older people to be physically active.

During the lockdown she is giving Joe Wicks a run for his money by helping older people to stay active. Rosemary is hosting online workouts every Saturday, Monday and Wednesday at 11am.

At the age of 60 Rosemary retrained as a personal trainer after realising that she could work effectively to get her age group fit and active.

While becoming a personal trainer started off as a way to make money it quickly became a passion.

You can find all the workouts on her Youtube page here (opens new page).

Here, Rosemary tells us a bit more about her story:

“At the age of 60, and a half, I took voluntary redundancy from my job as a manager with the Connexions Service and started retraining for my new career as a personal trainer. I spent the summer of 2011 gaining my level 3 Diploma in Personal Training, specialising in working with older adults.

“This had begun several months earlier, when I was in a gym and I heard an older man complaining to the, young, gym assistant that ‘you young folk don’t understand the aches and pains that we older folk have.’ It was my lightbulb moment. I was born at the right time, and was able retire at 60, and a half, and was planning for some way of making money in retirement. I realised that I could train as a personal trainer and, as an older person myself, would be able to work effectively with my age group.

“Fast forward 9 years and I am still a personal trainer and owner of Over Fifty Fitness, working, generally, with older people. I have worked with people face-to-face but have a larger online presence with a Facebook page and a Twitter account. I have written and delivered a course to enable people to deliver basic keep fit classes to their peers in community groups, for Manchester Active.

“I am a member of the U3A and run a fitness class for them. When the classes were cancelled, someone asked if I could put some exercises on the U3A South Manchester Facebook page. I did this and then had another lightbulb moment. Why not live-stream fitness classes? That way I could keep helping U3A members, but also reach more people who may be missing fitness classes.

“If Joe Wicks can do it, why not me?

“I firstly live-streamed on Facebook, but then moved to YouTube, because YouTube is more easily accessible for people. I now run a live class every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 11am, although I go live at 10.55 and have a little chat about the topic of the day. I have talked about the importance of strengthening exercises, how beneficial walking is, how to use weights and resistance bands and someone has asked me to talk about the best way to start running, which will be my next talk.

Initially, becoming a Personal Trainer was a way of making money in my retirement. Now 9 years later, having earned hardly any money, it has become my passion. I have seen for myself how effective exercise is in keeping people independent, improving their social lives, improving their health, both mental and physical and how it hugely improves their quality of life in older age. I mainly work on social media and don’t charge, hence the lack of money, because I feel that is the best way to reach as many people as possible.

At 69, and a half, I would say that it is my ambition to do for older people and exercise, what Jamie Oliver did for children and school meals!”

If you want to find out more about Rosemary or get involved with her videos you can access her Facebook page Over Fifty Fitness (opens new page).

Staying active

A recent YouGov survey, found that more than a third (36%) of Greater Manchester adults say they have been less physically active since lockdown began. With the Covid-19 mandating people to stay at home, it can be difficult to keep up activity levels which can effect physical and mental wellbeing.

GM Moving (opens new page) has now launched #KeepGMMoving a new campaign aimed at keeping people moving during Covid-19 for the benefit of their physical and mental wellbeing.

You can find out more here (opens new page).

Article Published: 28/04/2020 18:23 PM