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PAAMOA provides Gibraltar’s seniors with activities in lockdown

PAAMOA has been providing local seniors with online exercise routines and activities throughout the lockdown period in a bid to keep people happy and healthy.

Physical Activities Association for Mature Older Adults (PAAMOA) are once again providing Gibraltar’s senior age groups with online activities to keep them fit and healthy during the current Covid-19 lockdown.

Billed as safe and age appropriate the classes cater for people over 50, 60 and 70.

PAAMOA are working with the Sports Development and Training Unit within the Gibraltar Sports and Leisure Authority’s (GSLA) to provide these classes.

“Normally we run all of our classes from October to May through live classes and we have quite a variety of classes between these Mobility Movement, Mindfulness Movement with Music and Aqua Aerobics and Aqua Zumba in the pool,” said Jane Pizarro from PAAMOA.

“We have Pilates with various people and we have a number of teachers who we pay to run these classes.”

The classes are free to members of PAAMOA and you have to be over 55 to join.

Pre-lockdown the classes were usually oversubscribed.

“But, when we got lockdown last March and everything had to stop we as a committee put our heads together and thought how can we keep people moving,” said Ms Pizarro.

“Because not only was it the point of them not doing any exercise but at that point you have over 55 and many older than that who were isolating so it meant they were seeing no body.”

“So, not only were they not moving but they were also not meeting people.”

With this in mind the committee asked PAAMOA’s tutors if they would be prepared to do virtual classes were possible. With the Aqua Aerobics and Aqua Zumba being two obvious impossibilities for this.

“They all agreed. Obviously we were still going to carry on paying them as we have the money from our donations from Government or the GBC Open Day and things like that. So we offered to keep paying the teachers if they set up a programme,” said Ms Pizarro.

“So right throughout March and through to the summer and in fact beyond when we normally finish for the summer and we went through until the end of July we these online classes.”

An example of one of these classes is Justine Wilding who conducts her ‘Healthy and Happy with Justine’ classes and was doing about four a week during lockdown 2020.

“The classes were well used and people were sending us messages saying thank you so much for keeping us going. It has been fantastic that we can actually see people,” she said.

“I think also it is having the regularity of seeing people at a certain time and knowing on a certain day you are going to plug in on Facebook and see a live class.”

“Then they were keeping them [the classes] for a week so that people could go into them whenever they were free if they could not do it at the actual time.”

To avail of the classes, people have to access Facebook, send a friend request to the tutor who would then put them into a group which they could follow online.

After lockdown 2020 and late last year PAAMOA were able to provide live classes once again but with restricted numbers, social distancing and other Covid-19 restrictions or recommendations in place.

Now, post-Christmas, when classes were set to resume once more Lockdown 2021 started.

With this the committee spoke to the teachers once again and were able to set up a programme for members to use..

“Many of the teachers who were doing it before agreed to come back and do it and we even have a couple of new ones.,” said Ms Pizarro.

“The whole idea behind it is to keep the senior people in Gibraltar moving, meeting and having contact with people even in these difficult lockdown times.”

“They [the members] love it, they are desperate if we say we can’t do it and it is something that keeps them going when at times they cannot meet family members,” she added.

She also noted that Michelle Turner from the GSLA has put together a complete programme for the members.

“We are joining forces so that anybody, not just PAAMOA members, but any other senior age groups over 50s, over 60s and over 70s as well if people don’t particularly want to join PAAMOA,” said Ms Pizarro.

The Minister for Sport, Steven Linares thanked PAAMOA and their instructors.

“Keeping active with the current restrictions proves harder for some than others and whilst the message continues to be to stay home, exercise is a vital element for many in our community,” Mr Linares said.

“This is very true for our older generation so I am really grateful to PAAMOA and its instructors and the efforts they have made to offer these sessions from the safety of their homes.”

PAAMOA CLASS TIMES

Pilates and Toning at Home with Michelle: Monday’s 4.15pm to 5.00pm. Suitable for reasonably fit exercisers over the age of 50 years who are able to access the floor as part of their exercise session. All you require is a mat and towel.

Mobility Chair Exercise and Muscular Toning with Michelle: Wednesday’s 9.15am to 10.00am. Suitable for those over the age of 50, 60 and 70 years of age as the sessions can be adapted to work at a level suitable to age and fitness. You will require a sturdy chair with no arms, hand weights or filled 50ml water bottles that can be used as an alternative to hand weights.

Exercise to Music and Cardio at Home: Two separate classes with Karon and Michelle. Karon’s session is on Tuesday’s 10.00am to 10.45am and Michelle’s session is on Thursday 9.15am to 10.00am. Rhythmic movement aimed at developing the cardiovascular system. Suitable for reasonably fit senior exercisers who are able to sustain 45 minutes of cardio interval training including warm up and cool down.

Also suitable for those over the age of 50 who are working from home. Contact Michelle on her Facebook site ‘50+Fit and Fab at home’ to register your interest in Michelle’s three very different weekly exercise sessions for seniors and contact Karon on her Facebook site ‘Fit and Fab seniors’ to book onto her Exercise to Music and Cardio at home session. Alternatively personal message Michelle Turner or Karon Mifsud via their Facebook accounts for further information.

Justine’s Fun and Fitness at Home: Monday’s and Wednesday’s at 2.30pm. Great session for moving with music that makes you smile. Mobility and cardio workout, aimed at seniors over the age of 60 years. Contact Justine on her Facebook site ‘Healthy and Happy with Justine’ or Whatsapp 54019416.

Mindful Movement with Music with Marie: Mondays and Wednesdays at 10am (advanced)/ Tuesdays at 10am and Wednesdays at 11am (Basic). Mindful movement is an effective way to reduce stress and stimulate brain functions. Health benefits include increased strength and flexibility, better balance and coordination. MMM classes are offered primarily for over the age of 60. Standing and chair based muscle toning with and without support are offered. Personal message Marie Sacarello via Facebook account for further information and to be allocated an appropriate day and time.

Mat Pilates with Vicki: Wednesdays at 11.00am. Classes for the active older adult incorporating a mix of standing, seated and floor based exercises. Specific focus on mobilising the whole body and developing core strength to improve posture, balance & general well-being. Contact Vicki on telephone 56000827: ACE PILATES VIRTUAL STUDIO for further information.

Aerobics, Strength and Flexibility: Thursdays at 11am. Suitable for the active 50 + age group. Dance Fit and Party Time: Fridays at 10am for 60 years and over with Anne Marie Gomez. Contact Anne Marie on her Facebook site ‘Annmarie’s On Line Classes’ or via messenger for further information on the two sessions.

Pilates and Functional Patterns with Simone: Friday’s 9.30am to 10.15am-Mat class/ 10.30am to 11.15am Chair class. Fantastic class for exercisers who want to develop their core stability and muscle tone and improve posture, balance, and flexibility. First class is aimed at those who can access the floor to exercise and second class for those who are more comfortable in standing and sitting position. Contact Simone Redman on 54886000 (preferably via WhatsApp) or send a friend request via Facebook or look for ‘PAAMOA beginners at Home’, ‘PAAMOA Chair at Home’ or ‘PAAMOA Mat at Home’

Aerobics and Stay Fit with Arianna: Tuesdays and Fridays at 11.00am. Mobility and fitness aimed at those 60 years and over. Contact Arianna via her Facebook messenger (Arianna Scavone)

For further information on the level of each of the above fitness sessions contact the instructor or Michelle Turner on email michelle.turner@gsla.gi or PAAMOA on info@paamoa.gi

If you would like to become a member of PAAMOA and take part in all future exercise and fitness sessions please complete the health screening form that can be downloaded from the PAAMOA website www.paamoa.gi

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