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89-year-old fitness instructor vows to continue Staffordshire classes

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: September 03, 2014

Cora Whitten with her fitness class

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A FITNESS instructor who celebrates her 90th birthday this year says she will continue to run two classes a week for as long as she is needed.

Cora Whitten, who turns 90 at the end of October, has been teaching music and movement classes in Penkridge for 32 years and Stafford for 34 years.

Cora’s passion for exercise started in 1970 when she attended a class after being told she may have to be in a wheelchair because she had arthritis of the spine.

“I was determined to keep moving. I didn’t want to end up sitting around,” she said.

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In 1975 Cora was asked to set up her own class. She said: “I’d had my training by then, but I was nervous starting up. In 1981 I was asked to start it for senior citizens, as a mobility class.

“People are shocked when they hear what I do. They can’t believe it. But movement has been my salvation and I will keep going for as long as they want me to. It’s stimulation for the mind and body.”

Cora, of Attlee Crescent, Stafford, teaches her own sequences based on the Medau style of exercise, which enables people to feel energised, not exhausted.

She said: “People come to me who have pain and they give it a go and often they say ‘I couldn’t do that before’ – it’s very rewarding.

“It’s a very friendly, social class and a great way to meet people. I currently teach about 30, but eight years ago, when we were at Riverside, I taught about 70. I would welcome new faces.”

Classes are £1.50 a week to cover expenses, held at Stafford Leisure Centre on Tuesdays at 2pm and Penkridge Peace Memorial Hall on Mondays at 2pm. Call 01785-255998.

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