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Planning Retirement Online

Joining A Gym Over 50 - not as scary as you might think!

                                   March 2010  

Sally Smith

I joined a gym!

By Laterlife features editor Sally Smith

Being well over 50, I know I need to keep fit and active to remain healthy. But like so many, having had a busy life bringing up children, working, looking after a home... all those things that crowd into our adult lives... somehow fitness has slipped away.

It is just so easy to let the weight creep up and the fitness creep down and for me, the time had come to do something about it all. I was looking at various activities and clubs when a friend said, why not join a gym? I hadn’t really considered this before, gyms look full of young healthy slim people who are already fit. Gyms are also so electronically operated these days, and I was concerned I would look a bit stupid trying to understand the technology on the modern equipment.

NuffieldBut the local Nuffield Health Fitness and Wellbeing Centre was advertising a special offer and I decided just to pop in and find out a bit more.

Going through the door, I was behind a tall fit man probably in his thirties. He had a smart track suit on and was carrying a little sports bag. I nearly stayed in the swing doors and came straight out again, what would people like that think of a flabby 60 plus year old flopping around the place?

But making it to the reception desk was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Immediately the staff couldn’t have been more welcoming, more understanding of my concern about being the oldest one on the running machine. Evidently there are many people my age who are stepping into a gym for the very first time in their lives. I was not alone!

Doubly reassuring was the Nuffield Health’s special Health MoT that is carried out free of charge as part of your initial membership. I thought this would be a simple sit down and tick a few boxes. Wrong! It was like a full medical check with a private clinic. Their health advisors are fully trained and mine certainly knew what he was talking about. General lifestyle, height, weight, BMI index were checked of course, but they also looked at my waist to hip ratio (really important); blood pressure, aerobic fitness; cholesterol; resting heart rate; blood glucose; hydration – so many checks done easily and painlessly in a well equipped comfortable private room.

Every test was fully explained, it was wonderful to ask all those general fitness questions I had never had time to put to my doctor. Even better, once it was over, Nuffield Health produced a full and detailed written report of all these key aspects of my current state of health and fitness. They give a form to alert your doctor of any areas if they have concerns, and they also use the information to develop a specialised fitness programme specially for you.

Nuffield Health Club I really wasn’t expecting any of this and once it was over, I was keen and raring to go. Seeing the swimming pool, the cycle classes, the light and airy gym with its amazing equipment, and best of all, luxurious changing rooms and showers together with a health cafe and lounge, I realized I should have joined a gym years ago.

I booked the next step – a full induction with a friendly instructor called Jon. Now I know so much more about it, I can’t wait to go back and see what I can do with all that shiny equipment!



With spring well on its way, there has never been a better time to get healthy and recharge your batteries. But it can be a bit daunting to know where to start.

Nuffield Health Fitness & Wellbeing Centres, formerly Cannons Health Clubs, are offering Laterlife readers a free two day pass so you can visit your local centre and find out what it has to offer - a combination of great fitness facilities, professional health services and highly qualified staff to help you every step of the way.

If you decided to join, Nuffield Health won’t just take your membership fee and leave you to your own devices; instead they give all their members a mass of personal support and free and regular Health MOTs to make sure you are on the right track.
If your health improves, then they will reward you with a free month’s membership or a personal training session*. They really are keen to help everyone – even people our age – to get fitter and healthier.

You can find out more on

If you would like to take up the offer simply print the attached voucher, fill in your details and contact your local Nuffield Health Centre, to be given your free two day pass.

* Subject to Terms and Conditions

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