‘It’s never too late!’ – How Laurie, 83, became a gym regular

PUBLISHED: 13:56 08 July 2018

Ickleford 83-year-old Laurie Kerr at the gym in Letchworth. Picture: Herts County Council

Ickleford 83-year-old Laurie Kerr at the gym in Letchworth. Picture: Herts County Council

Archant

If you’re thinking about trying to get more active but need a bit of inspiration, take a leaf out of this Ickleford 83-year-old’s book and head to your nearest gym.

When Laurie Kerr started experiencing sharp back pain and leg weakness 18 months ago, he was forced to visit two doctors and two different hospital specialists.

Laurie said: “I was told that I had spinal stenosis in three places and was given two injections into the root of the spinal nerve. I enquired about taking up exercise, and was told that it would definitely help.”

Laurie’s son was visiting from New Zealand, so he took his dad along to Letchworth’s Beowulf Crossfit gym and introduced him to the personal trainers there.

“They wrote me a special programme of exercises and I have been going ever since,” said Laurie.

“On an average visit I use the rowing machine, do squat thrusts, crunches, step ups, and workout with a 5kg ball and ‘the beast’ – a large metal sledge with extra weights!”

Laurie has now lost over 9kg, his back and legs are much stronger, and the pain has reduced.

His 77-year-old wife Vivien, who already keeps fit and does Pilates, has joined him.

Laurie said: “Taking regular exercise is definitely a positive thing to do, especially if one has to combat blood sugar levels rising in diabetes and also cope with bouts of depression.

“My motto for all older people is: instead of waiting for the NHS to light the lamp at the end of the tunnel, go down there and light it yourself.”

Councillor Richard Roberts, who is responsible for public health at Herts County Council, said: “Physical activity is nature’s prescription, as it has so many physical and mental health benefits whatever our age.

“There are many enjoyable ways to keep active – clubs and gyms like this are a vital part of our community, a fantastic way to help you keep fit and have a wonderful social side.

“It’s never too late to enjoy being active so that you can keep doing the things you love.”

You can sign up to the county council’s It’s Never Too Late to be Active campaign until Sunday, July 15, at hertfordshire.gov.uk/nevertoolate or by calling 0300 123 4044. You will get a free activity pass for you and a friend and 12 weeks of personalised support to help you get more active.

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