Au­drey on track

Central Leader - - News - By Scott Mor­gan

Get­ting ac­tive has paid div­i­dends for os­teo­poro­sis suf­ferer Au­drey Gif­ford.

The Mt Roskill res­i­dent re­ceived the Sparc medal at Os­teo­poro­sis New Zealand’s You De­serve A Medal awards last month.

It was pre­sented by Olympic goldmedal­lists Caro­line and Ge­orgina Evers-Swindell.

“I was sur­prised be­cause they said there were lots of nom­i­nees. The twins were beau­ti­ful and very friendly,” Au­drey says.

The awards aim to en­cour­age New Zealan­ders over 65 years to stay healthy by un­der­tak­ing reg­u­lar ex­er­cise.

Au­drey joined the Mt Roskill green pre­scrip­tion group, which brings peo­ple to­gether to ex­er­cise, nearly three years ago af­ter her doc­tor told her she needed to get fit.

The 82-year-old says pump boo­gie aer­o­bics ses­sions and wa­ter walks have helped slow the pro­gres­sion of the bone-wast­ing dis­ease os­teo­poro­sis and in­creased her gen­eral fit­ness.

“It takes a lit­tle while to build up, but it feels good. I’m not as tired.”

She also reg­u­larly meets with other mem­bers of the green pre­scrip­tion pro­gramme for a walk and a chat around the Love­lock track in Wes­ley.

“Since I joined, it’s given me a new lease on life. I’ve meet so many peo­ple that are so nice,” she says.

“If some­one’s not there they ring up and see if you’re okay. We look out for each other.”

Sparc chief ex­ec­u­tive Peter Miskimmin says Au­drey’s ef­forts show what a bit of ex­er­cise can do for peo­ple of all ages.

“Au­drey epit­o­mises the mes­sage that age is no bar­rier to ei­ther per­for­mance or par­tic­i­pa­tion.”

Os­teo­poro­sis New Zealand ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Ju­lia Gal­lagher says keep­ing fit is vi­tal for os­teo­poro­sis suf­fer­ers be­cause it slows bone loss and helps pre­vent falls through im­proved bal­ance and strength.

The dis­ease af­fects around half of New Zealand women and a third of Kiwi men over 60.

For more in­for­ma­tion visit www. sparc.org.nz or www.bones.org.nz.

Keep on mov­ing: Mt Roskill res­i­dent Au­drey Gif­ford was pre­sented the Sparc medal by Olympic gold medal­lists Caro­line, left, and Ge­orgina Ever­sSwindell for get­ting ac­tive at Os­teo­poro­sis New Zealand’s You De­serve A Medal awards last month.

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