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I managed four visits to the gym last week, so I’m feeling really proud of myself.

There’s a huge difference in my breathing and general stamina, which is a great relief!

Yesterday I interviewed Cynthia Washington. I’ve known her for years, but I didn’t realise  that she could do so much!

Cynthia is 58, but could easily pass for 15 years younger. (Jealous, moi?!)

She is married with two children; a boy and a girl, and four grandchildren, with another on the way.

After her first child was born, Cynthia did cleaning and ran Tiny Games at the Freedom Leisure Centre.

In 1995 she qualified as a Gym Instructor at the YMCA in London, after commuting there every other weekend for five weekends. She’s an Exercise Referral Instructor, working with people who have been referred to the gym by their doctors, instead of being given a prescription for drugs. (Oh, if only more doctors would do this!)

CynthiaIsabellaDaisy 036 (Small)These are Medium Risk patients, with blood pressure, osteoarthritis, obesity, etc.

She’s qualified in Circuit Training, which is a circuit of exercises, usually timed.

The person doing it can work at the level that they want to work.

Then she qualified in 1st Aid at Work, including on the De-fibulator, to re-start a heart, and CPR.

She has to be checked annually.

OTAGO is a strength and balance programme run by Cynthia, mainly aimed at ages 65-90.

This is a funded course and people are referred into it.

Mainly for the lower limbs they are exercises that they can do at home as well.

And Cynthia does a Cancer Rehab Course.

Breast Cancer treatment can restrict the movement in one arm, and the classes help with this.

But apart from this, it gives them as feeling of well-being and support, being with similar people.

On top of all this, she’s learning to be a Postural Stability Instructor.

This is aimed at older, frailer people who are at risk of falling over. It’s to improve strength, balance, mobility and flexibility, and includes the upper body.

They are taught how to get on the floor, and get up again.

It’s looking to reduce fractures of the hip, which is very common and costs the National Health a fortune!

All of Cynthia’s groups inspire her. They want to be there!

CynthiaIsabellaDaisy 035 (Small) (Small)What does Cynthia do in her spare time? (Yes, she does have some!)

She does a Triathlon once a year, which is swimming, cycling and running.

Cynthia calls herself a Fairweather Cyclist! She doesn’t do it much in the Winter weather, then she starts again, cycling ‘only’ 6-8 miles, and building it up to 20 miles in one ride, followed by a half-hour run afterwards!

I asked her if she’s seen many improvements in her clients?

Oh yes, a lot! She told me.

The main thing is their self-confidence. As their ability improves, it inspires them to take walks, join classes, etc.

The GP Referral and the gym are stepping-stones to build up their confidence.

The first goal is getting in the gym twice a week.

Yes, I totally agree with that!