Gym keeps me healthy in mind and body, says 95-year-old Mollie

editorial image

At the grand age of 95 Mollie Jones is a walking example of the maxim: you’re never too old to exercise – and she could be the oldest gym member in the country.

She likes to go to the gym three times a week and spends at least 30 minutes circuit training.

Mollie, who lives in Kenilworth, reckons exercise keeps her healthy and her mind sharp.

Not for her is hours spent in front of daytime TV and cat-napping – she likes to be on the go, albeit now with a walking stick in hand. Although she said: “But it doesn’t mean you’ve got to use it.”

Mollie lives not far from Curves gym in Talisman Square, puts herself though the paces and sets an example for those decades younger.

Mollie, who worked as a PE teacher and then a hospital physiotherapist, has no plans to give up the gym sessions.

She said: “Heavens no. There’s no retirement age for exercise. Unless physically or mentally you can’t do it.

“Exercise is the key to good health and an active mind.”

As a physiotherapist she worked in the former Coventry and Warwickshire and Heathcote hospitals and up to the age of 80 she would teach keep-fit for the elderly in nursing homes.

“I would go into some of them and people would be asleep at 10 in the morning or have the TV on without really watching it,” said Mollie.

“Many of them couldn’t stand up, but we did exercises where they could sit down and it got them active and talking.

“I have got some arthritis, but that doesn’t mean you should stop moving. The body is like a machine – keep moving it, or it will seize up.”

Keeping active over many years has seen her on hiking holidays, climbing all the main peaks in Great Britain and family affairs and her fellowship work has seen her visit New Zealand, South America and Africa. Widowed in 2009, her husband Derek was a founder member of the Kenilworth Society who campaigned to preserve historic buildings in the town and co-ordinated the Poppy Appeal.

And apart from a short spell in medical care when an illness affected her balance, she was proud to tell doctors that she had “spent years in hospitals, but not as a patient”.

Her 95th birthday last Saturday was marked at Curves by staff, family and the Mayor of Kenilworth, Cllr John Cooke.

Curves owner Paul Valade, said: “She is an inspiration to us all. Imagine our surprise when Mollie, who was 88-years-old at the time, asked to join.”

While manager Denise Knight said: “We understand she’s the oldest gym member in the country. Mollie’s always happy to give help and advice to others.”