Keeping fit, even in retirement

ON THE ROAD TO BETTER HEALTH: John Chapman works out under the guidance of personal trainer Rachael Long.

A KILLAWARRA man reaping the benefits of his new post-retirement approach to fitness has urged others his age to consider such a change.

John Chapman, 71, said he had always been reasonably active, but admitted he had taken it easy since retirement, and found himself “in a rut”.

“I was just lethargic, and wanted to lose weight,” he said.

“I’d been talking about doing something for 18 months, just yack, yack, yack, but I never got off the couch.”

John’s daughter, Lisa, took matters into her own hands, setting her father up with a 12 month membership to the Wangaratta Indoor Sports and Aquatic Centre (WISAC), which included personal training sessions to help get him motivated.

John said he was extremely grateful for the gesture, delivered as a birthday present, and he encouraged others to do the same for family members who may need a gentle nudge.

“It’s a great gift, because if you gift it, they’ve got to do it,” he said.

Recent statistics showing Wangaratta has one of the highest rates of people beyond a healthy weight range have sparked much discussion about how this could be combated.

John was quick to encourage others of his vintage to find out what local gyms and personal training services could offer them.

“I think the majority of us do it when we reach the retirement years – the usual 6am-6.30am wake-up gets towards 9 or 10am, or we say, ‘I won’t have a walk today because it’s wet outside’,” he said.

“This way, no matter what the weather, there is no excuse; you can go there and get it all done.

“More blokes, and ladies, should join the gym and get some personal training, just to feel healthier and better.

“You don’t realise how much better you can feel by being a bit fitter – doing everyday things is easier.

“And it’s fun and you feel invigorated afterwards.”

John said personal training was a key to his efforts to get fitter, which have led to him losing 15 kilograms since January.

“It really got me going; Rachael (Long), the personal trainer, got me motivated to exercise, and it led to me ticking all the boxes of what I was asked to do,” he said.

John would spend one session each week with Rachael, and then two gym sessions each week by himself, following a program she had devised.

He said the accountability to his trainer kept him on the path to creating healthy new habits, with Rachael helping him to work beyond what he thought were his limits.

John said it was now easy to find 45 minutes to an hour three times a week to stay on top of his program.

He has even taken advice on how to keep up his new, healthier lifestyle while on a three-month caravanning holiday, and has arranged for his membership to be placed on hold over that period.

And he plans to keep up his gym work for the foreseeable future.

“It’s such a good environment to exercise in; there are lots of people there all working out and seeming to enjoy it, and though it’s hard, it’s working the body in the right way,” he said.

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