Be Inspired by AJ Active

Lydiah Igweh
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Jan 19

Say hello to, AJ ACTIVE who for the record has just turned fifty, looks incredible, is the most flexible woman we know, has bags of energy and is a force to be reckoned with! Trust us when we say we all need to take a couple of pages from her book!

So why is AJ so amazing? Well we caught up with her to give you an intimate insight into what it takes to be fabulous at fifty, her daily routine and her advice on feeling youthful and healthy. Here’s what she had to say.

At 50 what inspires you to keep going?

Being 50 has its advantages! I do not feel such a need to compete with fellow teachers, more so I am interested in their teaching and comparing tales of what they come across in their worlds. It can be very cathartic. I see also an ageing population, which still has vibrancy and strength and a desire to release tension through working out, not for trying to get into a smaller dress size! Some of the buzz words used in the fitness industry are aimed straight at the younger market but at 50 we heard it the first time so it’s not that we’re not evolving just as the younger generation are, we may just have a the benefit of experience to lead us to our choices of work-outs.

Walk us through a day with AJ?

My day starts with my own self-Yoga practice. I then have a mixture of one-to-one clients, sometimes-small private groups, sometimes classes for corporate companies. I teach the 6th and upper 6th at Magdalen School Pilates and Yoga. I also teach a range of fitness classes out of Rose Hill primary school where I am able to base my equipment classes such as Step and weight included workouts. I also teach in village halls and local studios.

Do you have any youthful tips to impart to our audience?

To be youthful in your mind stay positive and try not to listen to negative chat or views, swerve the moaners! Your body will change but look after it just like you did in your 20s before you went on holiday! You need to do that more now.

I’ve never tried yoga mainly because I think you need to be flexible to do it, is this true?

Yoga can be practiced by the very supple person who make it look easy but that is only the half of it! If your body finds bending harder be kinder to it and try not to make it do things it’s not ready for. It may never be ready for Instagram ridiculousness but it will change and you will feel very positive in how you’ve changed and nurtured yourself. Your mind will calm, eventually and you’ll meet some very nice people on the same journey as you, it’s a lifestyle not a fad!

What’s the main difference between Yoga and Pilates?

A person attending each of the classes best explains the difference between Yoga and Pilates. Pilates is a core based technique using it’s own unique breath control in conjunction with a series of postures designed to help realign poor posture, weak core strength and unexplained back pain. It is often a mat based class, although there are many variations using equipment. Yoga means unification of mind, body and breath. Asanas (postures or positions) are practiced often from standing sometimes from seated or floor based. The class itself will vary in style from teacher to teacher so find out the level of energy required to participate in the class first and decide what it is you are looking for from your Yoga, is it stillness of the mind, feeling calmer or to move and stretch, quite energetically sometimes!

How many calories can you burn doing both?

I could never calculate a calorie burn for either of these disciplines. It’s not really what it’s about and everybody’s body will work differently.

Do you have long-standing clients and if so what keeps them coming back?

I have clients who have been with me for 25 years and one who was 80 last year and still attends an Aerobics class once a week and regularly gives blood!

Out of all the classes you offer which is your favourite and why?

I love my self-choreographed Step class, which I change every 5 weeks, it challenges me to be creative but all interaction with my participants and clients is unique and special, I am lucky to work out with a vibrant array of people!

You started at a very young age. What advice would you give young people who are looking to get into the fitness industry?

My advice is to care! People will always know if you don’t and don’t let people down, be committed, you’d expect that so why shouldn’t they! Oh and get an accountant and pay your tax on time!

We know you love AJ Active just as much as we do so come and meet her at FitFest Oxford on June 15th. Before then you can try her in demand Pulseroll classes at our FitFest Oxford Weekender on Sunday 27th January. Click here to book your place.

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