The thought of going to a gym can be a daunting one for mature women, particularly if it’s a first time experience.
The equipment may be unsuitable for their specific abilities and health restrictions. The atmosphere at a traditional gym can also prove to be very intimidating when faced with the energetic, youthful bodies dressed in smart-looking gym wear.
Women Only Workout was established for just this reason.
“I took the idea from Curves, a women-only brand of gyms in North America,” explains WOW owner, Ingrid Seegobin. “As a middle-aged woman myself, I know that many of us don’t like the gym atmosphere, and while outdoor activity is an option, the reality is that many women in this age group choose to refrain from physical activity.”
For the Mature Woman
In Toronto, she successfully developed a client base among the West Indian diaspora, sharing her nutritional knowledge and guidance, as well as marketed nutritional supplements.
On repatriating to her homeland of Trinidad and Tobago in 2004 to be closer to her family, she realised that there were no facilities specifically targeting older women, and decided to take on a new challenge by opening a gym for this age group.
WOW was originally established in Woodbrook in 2005, and in 2011 relocated to Hibiscus Place in Petit Valley.
Although WOW caters to mature clients, memberships are not limited to that age group. The ages of WOW’s clients span from as young as 14 to as mature as 87. Some young clients come with their mothers, as they want to exercise but may be too young to attend the larger gyms.
Once the user is tall enough, the type of equipment makes it safe and easy to use once the person has control of his or her mobility.
WOW: Hydraulic Circuit Training
“It’s not body-building equipment,” she explains, laughingly. “The resistance is based on speed. Movements are fluid — it’s like doing exercise in water. So the faster you move, the more you increase the resistance of the machine.”
There are 9 machines with jogging platforms in between each, making it an 18-station circuit.
The workout is accompanied by music and with a timed voiceover indicating when to change stations every 30-60 seconds. This should be repeated for a minimum of 30 minutes at least three times weekly.
“Some may stay for an hour or longer. But once you go around the circuit twice, you know you’ve exercised for at least half an hour. It’s easy to keep track, and with the voice saying when to switch, you won’t have to count your reps, and because it is so simple a hands-on trainer is not required.”
And, of course, with Ingrid’s background in nutrition, having gym clientele gives her ample time to share her expertise.
“I have a captive audience,” Ingrid says. “Of course I won’t stuff anything down anyone’s throats if that’s not what they came for, but most women are really interested, so I chat with them while they work out — how sugar and carbs affect their bodies, what they should or shouldn’t eat, what foods are beneficial for post-menopausal women, how to maintain a good blood sugar balance and cholesterol levels, and so on.”
Here’s a few of Ingrid’s tips:
- For any age — half your plate should be filled with vegetables, raw, stir-fried or steamed; quarter with meat; quarter with beans or a complex carb or salad.
- Most breakfast cereals are poor meals particularly first thing in the morning, as they are packed with carbs and sugar. Eggs are a much better breakfast option, and provide a good source of protein to start the day.
- Blending food should not be done unless someone has a chewing or swallowing problem, as blending destroys a lot of fibre which our bodies need daily particularly and especially as we get older. Digestion may slow down as we age, but the key is to maintain a good balance of healthy home-cooked food.
- Read labels! MSG (Monosodium glutamate) goes by many different names, ‘hydrolyzed yeast’ being one of them, and many of us aren’t aware of what we are eating or the effects of these chemicals in our bodies.
- Most bread available locally is not suitable if losing weight is your goal. Bread that is actually healthy is not soft at all but very dense and sturdy. There are a few places that offer such bread, so keep an eye out if you really want to eat healthy — and when you do find it, beware, it’s an acquired taste!
What You Need To Know
- The cost of WOW is TT$275/month. All members will also:
- Get a free mini-consultation
- Get a BMI (Body Mass Index) assessment done
- Be weighed and have fat percentage measured
- Receive free ongoing nutritional advice
- Be assessed each month to monitor results
- Ingrid also offers nutritional plans, Nutri-Body assessments; and sells nutritional supplements.