My Kieser Story, Mel Blachford: Making It To 80 in Good Health
My Kieser Story: Mel Blachford
Centre: South Melbourne
Primary Exercise Scientist: Darcy Johnston
Training twice per week for nearly 13 years has helped Mel reach 80 years old in good health. Here is his story:
“When I retired from full time work as a pharmacist in 2006 I was 67 years old. There is plenty of evidence to show that as we age the body steadily loses muscle mass. Humans are programed to slowly fall to bits. I was determined to hold back the tide of ageing if possible. I wanted to be a fit senior. I started at Kieser soon after it opened in 2006 following a promotional free training session. I was impressed by the professional and caring manner of my first few sessions.
The concept of muscle strengthening using the Kieser program appealed to me. The machines and the qualified staff is a winning combination. Here was a routine I could easily fit into my life with twice weekly sessions. Over a 1,000 sessions later I am still turning up every Monday and Thursday at Kieser in South Melbourne.
I am one of the lucky people who did not have any major health conditions when I started. I simply wanted to stay healthy and mobile as long as I could. During my school years my eyesight (later corrected with glasses at 30) meant I could never catch a ball and was always last to be picked for team sports. As a result in a perverse way there have never been any injuries requiring hip or knee replacements in later years as suffered by many of my more sporty friends.
Over the years I have worked with many fine staff at Kieser. The atmosphere is always welcoming. The exercises I do cover my legs, arms and back to ensure the muscles supporting the spine stay strong. My Exercise Scientist, Darcy, undertakes my regular reviews and we aim to change one or two exercises every couple of months. People ask, “Don’t you get bored doing exercises?” The answer is, no. If you concentrate to do each exercise slowly and properly there is no time to be bored.
My children gave me a Fitbit for Christmas so I have now added a daily 10,000 steps to my routine. Walking along the foreshore in Albert Park is a great start to the day.
Since I came to Kieser my general health has remained good. I have lots of energy and happily no back or other pain. I work as a volunteer at the Australian Jazz Museum as collections manager. It involves carrying boxes of records and tapes. It surprises others that I can easily lift weights they cannot. The big bonus of regular muscle training is I was able to continue my 50 year passion for snow skiing at Falls Creek until three years ago. This involved enjoying seven years of free-over-70 lift tickets after a lifetime of paying! I stopped skiing not because I could no longer ski but because of the crowded slopes.
What are my goals for the future? I want to be around to see my children fulfill their life dreams, I want to be around to spend time with Margaret, my wife of 50 years. I want to be around to make 90 in good health my next goal. In May 2019 I celebrated my 80th birthday. Kieser has seen me through my 70s without any aches or pain. Recently I came across the concept of “young-old” compared to old-old. We all know people who look and act old long before their time. I consider myself lucky to be one of the young-old. Muscle strengthening is the key to pain-free senior years. The old adage “use it or lose it” is my motto. Thanks to Kieser and their great staff for making it all possible!"