Department of Health & Human Services
Premiers Active April

‘It’s fun to play at the YMCA’ this Active April – just ask Lesley

Lesley Walker from Northcote is one of thousands of Victorians trying out new ways to get active thanks to Active April, in this case it’s at her local YMCA…

We asked Lesley some questions on how Active April has made a difference…

Why did you get involved with Premier’s Active April for the first time in 2018?

My introduction to Active April came through my step-daughter. She is on top of social media and interesting things coming up.
She let us know that by registering with Active April we could some free admissions to our local YMCA.

She knew that her dad and I were going fairly regularly to Northcote YMCA, but on a casual basis, so the free sessions were a real incentive to ramp up our efforts.

What do you love most about being involved in Active April?

With our Active April 2018 opportunity we enjoyed both the money we saved doing something we knew was valuable and also the chance to see a different gym from the one we usually went to.

What are your favourite ways to keep active?

In the past I have kept active through using a bike as my main mode of travel. For years I have used a year-long 25-swim pass to keep me somewhat motivated to get to the pool.

Currently my husband and I are going to the gym twice a week. (I’d like to go more frequently but we have our granddaughter two days a week too. Sometimes we take her to the pool but the gym isn’t that easy with a three-year old.)

What motivates you to regularly get to your local YMCA centre? What is your favourite activity there?

Motivation comes from feeling the benefits. A friend observed the other day that I was looking ‘toned’. My husband also says he’s seeing muscles that weren’t there before. My calves, bum and arms are definitely less floppy than they used to be.

I will not quickly forget getting off the rowing machine, not actually a favourite, and being told by the young tattooed man on the other machine (the kind of person an older person is generally invisible to) that I was ‘awesome’. That helps.

I have also found lots of other gym members are helpful and have met some in places like the local market since and engaged in pleasant conversation.

What are your tips for other seniors to keep their bodies moving every day?

I would encourage everyone to walk in their community. I have a dog and that helps but being in the street, or park, is uplifting and has the additional benefit of keeping you stronger.

I love my bike and would also recommend that as a fantastic way to avoid the stress of traffic and clear your head.

Will you register again for Premier’s Active April in 2019?

I think I might do Active April again and have told heaps of people about it. My hairdresser thinks it sounds terrific.

Signing up for Active April is a wonderful idea. It might challenge some of us less app aware but a bit of persistence will pay rewards in both improving tech skills and getting out and active. Mixing with new people is another benefit.

I would never have been called awesome by a tattooed man in any other situation. It is interesting and encouraging to see other regular gym users, from the super athletic to the blind man who seems to be there everyday with his carer. Because the exercise, yoga class or swim is free you can also stop on the way home for a completely guilt-free coffee and cake, especially if the cake is protein-rich. Absolutely win-win.

Do you have any fitness goals for 2019?

I have completed three different exercise programs now and am stronger by the end of each one. I want to continue to improve both my cardio and weights performances and hope to include a few more classes, such as body balance, as well as getting back into the pool.

So that’s my story. It has been, and continues to be, terrific fun. I hope you get lots of people joined up this year.

Refer a Friend and WIN a 12-month double YMCA membership

At YMCA Victoria, an average of 8,000 passionate staff and volunteers facilitate over 18 million opportunities for engagement annually, at more than 150 locations across the state. This includes camps, community recreation and sporting facilities, swimming pools, early education, schools and kindergartens, and youth services.

This year with Active April if you successfully refer a friend before 30 April 2019 you will automatically go in the draw to win a 12-month double YMCA membership! The more friends you refer the higher your chance of winning!

Simply Log In, head to the Profile page and click the ‘Refer a Friend’ button to go in the draw. What are you waiting for? Start referring today! There’s no limits to how many people you can invite.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more great prizes from YMCA.

Last updated: February 25, 2019 at: 1:49 pm

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Daily Activity Tips

Physical activity can help increase bone strength, decrease blood pressure, increase muscle mass and increase balance in the older population.

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