Mary and Vaughan Phillips

Mary (75) and Vaughan (76) both live in Bedford. They have tried lots of different physical activities over the years from walking hockey to yoga classes and have adapted their routine depending on how they feel and are able to do physically. They love their allotment and garden as ways to keep fit but have also found a newfound love for online classes as a result of the pandemic.

Their story

We have always been very active and before the Pandemic we would go swimming twice a week at Robinson pool which is close to our home in Bedford. We both enjoyed walking, attending Jane's exercise classes at our local community hall and would spend lots of time gardening and playing with our grandchildren. Our family are all keen hockey players and we really enjoyed travelling to watch the weekend matches.

During lockdown we really enjoy attending the online classes ran by Bedford Borough Council. Much of our normal routine was sadly put on hold, like everyone's and it was nice to have that structure to the day. Having that time each morning to do some gentle exercise for mobility and stretches for suppleness really set you up for the day. At our age we are more susceptible to loosing those mobilities, therefore we do an hour a day with Jane. The classes are perfect for all ages and abilities and we do appreciate Janes classes immensely – she is such a good teacher."

We were very keen to help Jane, our exercise coach, be her first testers for the zoom classes – which are ran by Bedford Council. It was a big learning curve for everyone involved in the early days and to have people willing to test the concept was very helpful. There were a few teething problems in the beginning as the software was new to everyone, but Jane soon got over that and the classes have ran smoothly since the launch.

The online exercise classes concept was completely new to us and one which we probably wouldn't have gone looking for before the Pandemic but now we really understand the benefits and would gladly recommend to anyone how good there are. The technology side of it is a little daunting at first but you quickly overcome that. You also get lots of support from Robert at the council if you need it.

We know that the mindset to exercise as people get a lot older may not be there for all but even going for a simple walk or doing some gardening is a great way to keep your body moving. As active Bedfordshire ambassadors, we would always recommend that you just need to find the right exercise for you and adapt it over time.

After lockdown we would prefer to stay online as the classes are so easy and convenient to do. There is no travelling time involved and we can do our class at home and are set up for the day. The classes are also very cost effective and we always pay the full donation each month - Its definitely worth every penny!

If you would like to take part in the Bedford Sport LIVE- Activity sessions at home please click here for all the details.

Mary and Vaughan talk about the benefits of online classes