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FITNESS & EXCERCISE Exercise With Eddy

As we age, it is important to keep the body moving by exercising regularly, but also vital to ensure we are doing so safely and effectively. Tomorrow’s Care spoke to 71-year-old personal trainer Eddy Diget to find out his advice for exercising at an older age.

Proving that age is but a number, 71-year-old Eddy Diget is believed to be the oldest personal trainer in Britain and puts clients of all ages through their paces at DW Fitness Club in Milton Keynes.

For Eddy, who was formerly in the Royal Navy, sport has always been a big part of life and he has many strings to his bow. In 1962, Eddy was selected to represent his country at the Common Wealth Games in Perth, Australia. He has also spent 35 years concentrating on weight training and has an impressive 55 years of Chinese Martial Arts experience under his belt.

Explaining how he found himself in the role of personal trainer, Eddy said: “I became a Personal Trainer, now a Master Trainer for the last

eight years, by default as people asked and I suggested better ways to train for their particular goals of all ages and disciplines.

“I diversified as a specialist in rehabilitation too, based on personal experience gained over the years as a coach and trainer of others.

“In essence, I suppose you could say that I have been a ‘personal trainer’ for over 50 years!”

Eddy’s training techniques are adaptable for all ages and there is a very wide age range in the clients on his books, from age 13 right up to 80 years old.

Eddy continued: “I feel humbled that I can pass on the experience I have gained over many years of

fitness training to others who seek my advice and guidance to achieve their personal goals at all ages in whatever way that is important to them.

“Also, on a personal note, at my age it gives me fulfilment to still enjoy getting up in the morning doing something that I love – thus, still being part of life and worthwhile!”

The determination and motivation Eddy has had throughout his life doesn’t look likely to diminish any time soon and he has no plans to retire just yet.

“I will ‘retire’ when my body stops me training, or when I have to use a Zimmer frame to train my clients,” laughed Eddy.

EDDY’S EXPERTISE Here are Eddy’s top exercise tips for older people:

Balance is Key Most older folk are concerned about balance and can be worried about moving their bodies in certain ways. Therefore, no matter what age they are, they should concentrate on MOVEMENT, both static and dynamic, as a start to fitness.

Build Up Gradually The best pieces of confidence- building equipment for any older person are cable machines and static bikes, as they are easier to use than having to remember various programmes to operate other pieces of gym equipment – this can come later.

Do What You Love Try to find something you like to do – no matter what! If you do find something straight away, great! If not, try various things until you do.

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Focus on Form Far too many gym-goers are obsessed by how much they can lift, but good form is by far the most important consideration. I don’t want to see how much weight you can lift, I want to see how strictly you can do it. The key is to make people think about their training – there’s no point in simply adding more weights to your workout if your form and technique aren’t right.

Trainer and Client

Communication The client should inform their trainer if something hurts when they do it. Unfortunately, people stay silent and it puts them off coming back. Things should be questioned if it’s a struggle. If we enjoy what we do, we’ll do it well; if we don’t enjoy it, we shouldn’t do it.

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