Eddie the Eagle visits Ledian Gardens to encourage pensioners to keep fit

To celebrate National Fitness Day, Eddie the Eagle (Michael Edwards), the former UK Olympic ski jumper, shared his workout wisdom with pensioners at Inspired Villages to inspire the older generation that you’re never too old to keep fit!

Eddie the Eagle led 80s themed fitness workouts for those aged 65+ at the award-winning UK retirement village Inspired Villages, alongside nominated Pensioner Personal Trainers (PPTs), Julie Ford (68) and Lynne Thomson (75) - who both work in the fitness industry.

Together, they challenged the narrative around elite elderly exercise, making exercise easy and accessible for retirees. With research revealing that 55% of pensioners have never been to a gym, the session also aired live on Facebook along with seated exercises, so those with mobility issues could still join in. Watch the full video here.

Residents gathered at Ledian Gardens in Kent to take part in National Fitness Day and of the masses was Gover (72), who followed Eddie the Eagle in a personal Olympic-style ski-jumping session and Stephanie (80) who said: “if I was in my old house, I would be sat at home doing nothing. Now that I’m here and out and about, it has inspired me to do more.”

Pensioner Personal Trainer Julie Ford (aged 68) is the Founder and mastermind of Instepp, a fitness brand born out of struggles with cancer. Julie has worked within the fitness industry for over 40 years and realised once her mobility was restricted that she would reinvent her way of working out, which could inspire many other people with similar mobility issues to keep fit. Pensioner Personal Trainer Lynne Thompson (aged 75) is an aerobics and fitness fanatic. She now is a body conditioning teacher, and she is also a Postural Stability Instructor running classes called Strong & Steady.

The nation’s much-loved ski jumper Eddie the Eagle (Michael Edwards) commented: “I am delighted to have worked alongside the nominated Pensioner Personal Trainers to help the older generation remember that it’s never too late to enjoy movement. Inspired Villages believe your later years should be the best years of your life and I couldn’t agree more!”

Inspired Villages Chief Executive Jamie Bunce commented:

“This brilliant fitness campaign with Eddie the Eagle has helped our residents and many elderly people to get out of their seats (where possible), after we found more than half of pensioners have never stepped foot into a gym and 37% are more likely to frequent the gym if there are trainers of a similar age group. Eddie and our Pensioner Personal Trainers Julie and Lynne have done a fantastic job at changing perceptions of staying fit, showing there are many different options to do so.”

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