An interview with Maz – Fitness extraordinaire

And so to my latest fitness interview. I’m chatting to my friend Maz, aged 72, who has the fitness of a 30 year old, is easily the coolest person I know and truly an inspiration to me 😘.

Maz at the top of Kinder

What do you do to keep fit?

A variety of exercise classes. My philosophy is to do something that works every part of my body. I do HIIT, GRIT, Circuits, Spinning, Pilates, yoga, bodybalance, body pump and sometimes throw in some dance based classes.

Maz working tomorrow out with weights

That sounds like a lot of classes, how many do you do a week?

I just do 5 a week, Monday to Friday and then walk on the weekends. I will vary which classes I do but always do 2 cardio based, 2 stretch and tone and 1 for strength. The leisure centre where I go have been running brilliant Everybody LIVE classes online during lockdown; the Les Mills classes are really good too.

What is your favourite class?

Definitely spinning. I love it!. I always do one of these a week, although I haven’t been able to during lockdown, so have resorted to hoola hooping and skipping instead; I’ll always find a way 😁.

I started spinning 13 years ago when I retired. Spinning classes are an indoor bike workout, classes last 45 minutes and are quite structured in style although they take place to music which makes it so much fun. We can emulate gears with a wheel dial which corresponds to the resistance you feel and you use different RPM (revolutions per minute) for different sections of the workout; 100-120 RPM for a sprint for example. I love spinning and feel inspired to work hard even when I’m tired.

What has been your biggest achievement in fitness?

I would say qualifying as a spinning instructor when I was 70. I wanted to set myself a target that was fitness related. It was a brilliant course. I went along with a gym buddy who had qualified with another company but didn’t find them as good so joined me at Performance Cycling who were great. There was a lot to learn; you have to ensure you understand the varying positions such as standing climb, hover, standing sprint and why/when you would introduce them into your class. I’m very proud of my certificate. My husband framed it for me (so sweet).

When I asked Maz about whether she teaches spinning she said no she wanted to do the course for fun and to see if she could. She loves to challenge herself and has also done courses on computers, wine, massage and recently started one on hairdressing. (I must ask her about the wine one again sometime 😝). She also told me: “I’ve also been learning to play some tunes on the Ukele 😆”.

Maz during her spinning training

Do you have any aspirations/dreams in terms of fitness, maybe for when you’re 80?

I want to be alive this time next year – does that count 😆? Seriously I just want to maintain my level of activity as long as possible and maintain both physical and mental wellbeing.

What is your approach to nutrition?

I have a really addictive personality. If there is a packet of biscuits I have to eat them all. It’s the same with anything, a box of chocolates or a bottle of wine. I have to be really strict otherwise I’d be 20 stone. I try to be good during the week and then will allow myself some wine and chocolates on the weekend. When I retired I experimented with cutting out carbs like bread, pasta and potatoes. I felt so much better for it. It just suited me I guess. I still have muesli in the morning though, with lots of seeds, nuts and soya milk.

I also tried to start drinking more water when I retired. I immediately noticed how energised I felt. I’m generally eat pretty healthy to be honest. I was laughing with my husband the other day that we’ve had fish and chips 3 times during lockdown. Before that I had it maybe once in every 10 years!

When did you first get into exercising?

I started off with yoga when I was pregnant with my daughter, so 43 years ago. Also during the 1980’s there was the whole Jane Fonda thing and I got into aerobics classes. When I think back to those classes it reminds me of that Victoria Wood skit – do you know the one? I do……

Later on I moved onto swimming and gym and I always managed 3 activities a week whilst working. I really progressed this more after retiring. I guess I’m very self motivated; not competitive mind you but determined.

And there you have it folks, Maz extraordinaire – inspiring 😘

Maz hanging out during the Tour de Yorkshire

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