Run, dive… and socialise!

As an older member of Vivacity Premier Fitness Jackie Keddy certainly makes the most of her time at the gym, attending as many classes as she can and thriving on the social side of things

How long have you been a member at Vivacity Premier Fitness?
Since it opened about three and a half years ago. I have an off-peak lifetime membership, so I come during the day.

Why do you come to the gym?
I think it’s really important to keep fit, especially when you get to over 60. I also love the social element, the fact that Vivacity Premier Fitness is local to me and that the classes and staff are just wonderful – they always listen and take any feedback on board.

Did you feel like you weren’t fit before you started coming to the gym?
No, I definitely wasn’t. I had always been quite active but a car accident meant I couldn’t do the things I used to. I needed rehabilitation and physiotherapy, which is part of the reason I came here in the first place, as my physio is based here. I had also gained weight, which added to my feeling of unfitness. I spoke to a few of the trainers that work here who gave me some tips that I found really helped to improve my stamina.

Do you just attend classes or do you also use the gym?
I really enjoy the classes so I concentrate on those. I do yoga, studio cycling, legs bums & tums, all of the aqua classes and Pilates. I’ve also tried weight management, which I really enjoy and I do classes at Hampton Leisure Centre too, including Zumba and circuits. I aim to do something every day because it’s a nice way to get out and socialise. I like to try new things as the staff are really supportive and welcoming. For example, I always thought I couldn’t do studio cycling because it’s too hard for me and I’ve got limits. But then I tried it with Geoff, who’s fairly elderly, together with others in their 50s and 60s and one lady who was nearly 80. And guess what? We could all do it! After I did the spin class with Geoff I decided to try it with Rachel because her class sounded quite intense. Rachel advised me to just go at my own pace, so I went in, loved it and have kept it up ever since. I think you have to build up that confidence. And besides, people are too busy in their own bubble to worry about what you’re doing.

What in particular influenced you to join the Vivacity gym?
I only live in Hampton, so the location is ideal. At first I was hesitant to join but my son encouraged me to sign up because I was getting bored at home. I’ve been a member ever since. Coming to the gym gets you out in the day and, I have to say, this is one of the best gyms I’ve ever been too.

How does this gym differ to the others you’ve been to?
It’s definitely friendlier. There’s a better atmosphere and the staff are more approachable.

What do you enjoy most about being a member with Vivacity?
There are so many things I enjoy! To list a few: I love feeling fit, getting to know people and having a really good laugh in the classes. Plus going to the gym is a fantastic stress buster. It’s the fun element of the gym that really makes it for me. When you’re a child you laugh and giggle all the time but as you get older some people can go all day without smiling. When you’re jiggling your stuff with Jenny in Aqua Zumba you can’t help but laugh. I mean we’re like big kids: we hold hands, we dance around – it’s like we’re in the playground again! So I think it releases your inner child. We’ve all got one, it just struggles to get out sometimes.

How else do you feel you have benefited from being a member?
There’s the social side of things and, of course, the improvements to my health. My high blood pressure is back to normal and I’ve lost a stone and a half.. The greatest benefit has been to my sanity! I also sleep well now. To be honest I can’t really say enough about the benefits.

You mention the social side of Vivacity gym membership. How does that come about?
Through the classes. You see people in classes, you smile at each other and you get talking. Then you’re meeting up after classes. A group of us meet for coffee afterwards and now we have a night out planned.

As an older gym member, how would you encourage others to get involved?
Joining a gym doesn’t have to be about working out to get muscles or to be super skinny. And memberships aren’t just for the body beautiful or young! Reaching a certain age shouldn’t discourage you from getting involved, quite the opposite. This is the time to get fit, stay healthy and enjoy the fantastic social side to the gym.

Join a class today!
There are over 100 classes available to try across six Vivacity sites every week. Classes are free for Vivacity Gym members or £5 pay as you go.

Here are just a few examples of the classes available:

  • Studio Cycling
  • Young at Heart – Zumba Gold
  • Mat Based Pilates
  • Aqua Fit
  • Fitsteps
  • Gentle Yoga

For the full schedule of fitness classes or to book online please visit

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