FITNESS FANS: Matt Harrison, Thora Wallace and Norm Josph enjoy exercising and keeping fit.
FITNESS FANS: Matt Harrison, Thora Wallace and Norm Josph enjoy exercising and keeping fit. Tegan Annett

Heart bypass was a big health wake-up call

A HEART bypass in 2002 made Matt Harrison sit up and take notice of his health.

He realised he had to improve his exercise regime.

And so he did. Now he goes to Gladstone Physio and Fitness three times a week, and also has a regular session with an exercise physiologist.

And he says he has never felt better.

Mr Harrison and fellow gym members Norm Josph and Thora Wallace reckon they've learnt the importance of exercise at any age.

Attending the gym is part of Mr Harrison's routine three days a week.

"In my instance, I have arthritis in my back, knees and shoulders.

"I had bypass surgery in 2002 and the Heart Foundation recommends three hours a week of exercise," he said.

"You notice improvements in just your general well-being - my cholesterol is magic, it's 3.1 and under 4 is excellent ... some young people wouldn't even be able to say that," Mr Harrison said.

Norm Josph has focused on back exercises, since he noticed that he had trouble bending over and had little back strength.

"The reason I started was because I had a really crook back," he said.

"Since I started doing back exercises it's gotten much better.

"I was on a charter trip out to Heron Island and I couldn't get out of the boat. They had to get an ambulance there to help get me out."

He said he went to the gym at about lunch time, before all the "young fellas" turned up.

Ms Wallace is a regular at the gym. She goes to five classes a week of pilates, circuit fit and box fit.

Top 5 exercises:

  • Bench push-ups
  • Sit to stand "out of a chair"
  • Single leg balance
  • Calf raises
  • March 'on the spot'

Exercise frequency:

  • Beginner: 2 sets 10 reps, 2 x per week
  • Intermediate: 3 sets 10-15 reps 3 x per week
  • Advanced: 3-4sets 15 reps, 4-5 x per week

* By exercise Physiologist Benjamin Robinson