Life begins at Halcyon

Life begins at 50

Daphnee taking Home Owners' health to new heights

23 November 2018 | by Halcyon

Personal trainer Daphnee Bernard loves witnessing the life-changing impact of fitness on the home owners she works with each week at Halcyon Parks.

The former dancer and cross-country runner gave up event planning to become a personal trainer several years ago.  She ran boot camps and high intensity interval training sessions before her parents inspired her to change her focus.

“I started training them – Dad is 74 and Mum is 65 - and it was great seeing the improvement in their lifestyle with exercise, and how much more confident and independent they felt,” she said.

“I made the decision to work with older adults. It’s more rewarding and there are a lot of benefits for them.”

Daphnee runs two sessions a week at Halcyon Parks with up to 20 home owners.

Aimed at improving the mind, body and spirit, Daphnee’s sessions take in strength and conditioning, dance, balance, weights and aqua aerobics.

The key benefits of these regular workouts include building up strength, the prevention of falls and reducing the risk of dementia.

“I see how much confidence they build and how much energy they have, even from day one. Just by being more active and taking part.”

One home owner’s confidence has gone sky-high – literally.

“My oldest client celebrated his birthday by skydiving out of a plane,” she said.

“He was so excited and proud that he brought me the certificate the following week to prove he did it.”

Daphnee said being active also helps to boost emotional and mental health.

“The classes are a social gathering as well,” she said. “The home owners come together, they have a bit of a laugh and have smiles on their faces.

“We’ve developed such a strong bond. Each Christmas we’ll all go somewhere to celebrate; we have lunch, play games and enjoy each other’s company.

“For me it’s their reward and my chance to say thank you.”

Daphnee encourages more home owners to try a class for themselves.

“My tip would be ‘break the ice’, just take that step and attend one class and see how it will change your life.”

It certainly did for Irene White, a former ‘lounge lizard’ who is now motivating others, including her husband Jim, to get involved in Daphnee’s classes.

Realising she had become rather sedentary in retirement, Irene took a class and is reaping the physical and spiritual benefits.

“I don’t ache as much, I’m nimbler and I can do a lot more without hurting,” she said.

“I was even jumping around on stage dressed up as a scarecrow at the Treble Clef’s recent performance and I did it without an ache.”

Irene also encouraged her fellow home owners to continue meeting for exercise when Daphnee was away on holidays.

“That’s how important we think it is,” she said.

Home owner Claire Crowell said staying active at Halcyon Parks had allowed her to take part in the 5km event in this year’s Sunshine Coast Marathon.

“It was something that I always thought I’d do,” she said.

“The opportunity arose, and I did the 5km walk in less than an hour. I think I’ll be doing it again next year.”

Claire does both of Daphnee’s classes each week as well as yoga, walking and helping with community events.

“I love the sessions with Daphnee, she’s one of those people that you take to straight away, she’s always cheerful.

“I think anybody who goes to the classes finds them of benefit.

“There’s nothing stressful about them, it’s just good healthy exercise.”

Another active home owner is Pam Sanders who does Zumba Gold, two sessions of lawn bowls, aqua aerobics and lots of walking each week.

“There’s plenty of things to do here – I think it’s good for your health and well-being to get out and mix with people and have fun,” she said.

“I have rheumatoid arthritis, so I like to keep things moving and keeping my muscles healthy.

“I’ve been doing Zumba Gold for 10 years. I love the music and the exercise. You’ve got to try to remember the steps so that helps your mental capacity too.”

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