Audrey on track
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.