Aerobics keeps women on the move
They may be aged in their 80s but they are not slowing down.
The thought of working through an hour of aerobics exercises after a six-week break from major surgery might seem like punishment to some, but for 82-year-old Mavis Saunders it was anything but.
"I just felt liberated," she said.
The 21-year veteran of what was formerly known as the YMCA Kiwi Seniors Aerobics classes, but is now called the YMCA Easy Combo aerobics classes, said she enjoyed them so much she usually attended three times a week.
But she had been easing back into them recently after sitting out the classes for six weeks while she recuperated from surgery.
Mrs Saunders did not let the surgery slow her down too much, however.
Less than 24 hours after her surgery, she had started working through the necessary post-operative exercises, much to her surgeon's surprise.
"He didn't expect me to be out of bed the next morning but I was," she said.
Fellow classmate and keen walker Triss Fyfe, 89, is also keen on aerobics, having attended classes for 14 years and having no intention of stopping any time soon, despite having had her hip replaced.
"I don't want to seize up," she said.
Ann Cattle, 78, another keen exerciser in the class, said aerobics made her feel good.
She also enjoyed the camaraderie, with many of the women getting together for birthdays and other events, or just a cup of tea after class.
Mrs Saunders said the group had been part of the YMCA's Summer Festival Float Parade entry in previous years and were twice crowned champs when their demonstrations to the Village People's YMCA anthem delighted crowds.
The Southland Times