ZUMBA has taken the world by storm with its funky dance routines to get people into tip-top shape.
And now pensioners in their 70s, 80s and even 90s are bopping along and working up a sweat to the South American rhythms.
Zumba Gold incorporates all the dance and aerobic elements of the fitness programme, but is designed to be less strenuous on joints.
It’s growing in popularity and yesterday a Zumba Gold class in Gosport was a lively affair as more than a dozen women strutted their stuff to tunes, including LMFAO’s Sexy and I know It.
Jill Whitcher, 77, who used to be a telephonist at the Cosham exchange, enjoyed the workout at The Empower Centre, in Layton Road, Bridgemary.
Jill, of Gregson Avenue, Bridgemary, who has Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, said: ‘It’s easy.
‘I don’t like running or going to the gym.
‘I enjoy the music – it’s the variety.
‘The only other time I listen to music is in the car.’
Annette Wood, 70, a retired care home worker and great-grandmother-of-four, of Carisbrooke Road, Bridgemary, said: ‘I enjoy everything – the music, the people.
‘It’s just great. I have never been to the gym, but I would find it a bit boring compared to this. This gets rid of so much energy.’
The class is run by Pauline Grant, 39, from Fareham.
One of her ladies is a 94-year-old and another, 85-year-old Betty Wilson, is a regular Zumba-goer.
Pauline said: ‘Older people come to this and say there’s nothing else like it for their age group.
‘It’s either chair aerobics or it’s really fast.
‘Zumba Gold fills that gap.’
Pauline says most of her clients are women, but men have been known to turn up every now and again.
‘The class is not just about keeping them physically fit,’ says Pauline.
‘It encompasses everything, emotional and mental fitness.
‘It’s about making friends and getting out of the house.’
The group recently collected 65 Advent calendars and donated them to the Empower Food Bank, The Fareham and Gosport Basics bank and Fareham’s Women’s Refuge.