We recently asked our AusREPs what they have been up to and asked them to share with us something exciting or fun they are involved in. We spoke to Fitness Australia AusREP Dilys Wong about what she has been doing since September 2018 - teaching ballet fitness classes to Seniors.
According to many studies, there is evidence to strongly support the positive association between increased levels of physical activity, exercise participation and improved health in older adults. Worldwide, around 3.2 million deaths per year are being attributed to inactivity. FInd out more about what Dilys does below:
Why did you start teaching ballet fitness classes?
As a teenager, I used to be a serious dancer. Although I was very active as a youth, I stopped exercising for over fifteen years while I was taking care of my five children. When I reached my mid-50s, I started to have pains and aches. I would easily get injured. I realized that I needed to strengthen my body.
After completing the Fitness Certificate III, I developed a class that uses the music and structure of a ballet class, but incorporating a full body workout appropriate for ladies over 50. I started teaching ballet fitness classes last September to some seniors. The class grew from 7 to 24 participants in a very short time. This year, I have begun to teach in different gyms and retirement villages. My goal is to help others, especially more mature ladies, to get healthier and stronger.
What is some of the feedback or success you have had with your students?
I like to give reasons for doing the various exercises and explain how they are important for the body. I also like to give people plenty of options since I cannot feel how they feel; everyone needs to listen to his or her own body. But I emphasise the importance of pushing a bit harder in order to challenge the body. I like to be encouraging and always remind people that everyone starts at different stages, but as long as they keep going, they will only get better.
A number of ladies have told me how they love the class and how it made them realise the importance of exercise. One of my students said that her physiotherapist found that she had improved greatly since taking my classes.
Why did you decide to become a member of Fitness Australia?
Joining Fitness Australia is an easy way to get all that I need as an instructor: support, networking, continuing education, and insurance. Fitness Australia was recommended by our fitness instructors. I continue to learn and improve my knowledge and skills in fitness. Being registered by Fitness Australia ensures that I put that in priority. I have also found the networking especially helpful.
What are your hopes for the industry in the next 5 years?
The industry in the next five years will definitely grow. People are starting to realise how important exercise is for their health. More seniors are beginning to see that exercise helps to reduce the impact of illness and chronic disease. For example, improvement in muscle mass will improve their balance and bone strength. Fitness is no longer only for young people who want to look good, but for all ages.
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