Meet the UK’s oldest fitness instructor – who, at the age of 100, can still put her legs behind her head.
Nimble Marion Watson runs three fitness classes at her retirement home every week, and her agility would put people half her age to shame.
The former gymnast didn’t start running fitness classes until AFTER she was 100, because she feared she would start “giving up”.
In an effort to regain her confidence and youthfulness, the former aerobics instructor offered to organize fitness classes at her home.
Marion is a resident of Down Hall Residential Home in Bradwell-on-Sea, near Maldon.
She celebrated her 100th birthday last September and started classes soon after.
The great-grandmother gives three 40-minute classes each week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays – and has no plans to stop.
Marion said: âI love the joy of being active and seeing people improve.
âNowadays I prefer to teach the elderly, although I find it a bit frustrating to have to use chairs.
“My motto has always been, if you don’t use it you will lose it.”
Widow Marion became a gymnast when she was just 18 and has been active ever since, playing golf twice a week for over 30 years.
At 70, Marion started teaching aerobics in her hometown of Burnham, near Maldon, and has now decided to put her skills to use in the nursing home.
Home manager Karen Johnson believes that having Marion show off her moves inspires other residents to participate.
Karen said, âThere is always a buzz around the house during one of Marion’s classes.
âShe focuses on gentle exercises and breathing and encourages everyone to go at their own pace.
“Although that doesn’t stop Marion from showing off her moves and she will often surprise us all by stretching her legs above her head.”
Marion is in excellent health and says she is often told that she does not appear to be over 80.