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Not stopping . . . Timaru resident Margaret Langdale (81) has been a regular attendee at the gym for more than 20 years. PHOTOS: GRETA YEOMAN

by Greta Yeoman

At the age of 81, Margaret Langdale is not your average gym-goer.

But the long-time fitness enthusiast took up going to the gym close to 20 years ago, and has been hooked ever since.

“I just love it.”

“It’s only a number after all.”

She has been a member of gyms run by Anne Laing and Tim Bean since the start of her gym-going, and is now based at the pair’s Performance Health Club gym in Heaton St.

“I’ve always been keen on exercise.”

The retired nurse said her former job had showed her the importance of strength, both physically and mentally.

While there was no particular reason she started going to the gym, she had just decided to take up the hobby after retiring.

“Mentally and physically you can cope better,” she says of the benefits of exercise.

Mrs Langdale has also invited several other friends along over the years, including family members.

“I said ‘why don’t you come along?”‘

She had a good relationship with the other gym-goers.

Fitness family . . . Margaret Langdale (centre) has been attending Performance Training Company’s Performance Health Club gym with other gym-goers for several years.

“They just think it’s great.

“They’re just wonderful people.”

Her routine – which she does four days a week – involves 20 minutes on the treadmill, followed by time on a range of weight machines for her upper body strength, and concluding with yoga.

“It’s so beneficial.

“You just feel good.”

Alongside the exercise element, Mrs Langdale enjoys the social aspects of the gym.

“I always love chatting.

“Sometimes [people] need a hug and someone to talk to.”

Mrs Langdale said it was noticeable the difference in health between friends her age who stayed fit and active, and those who did not.

She said her doctor had joked that she would still be attending the gym at 90.

“It’s only a number after all.”