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Member Spotlight: Kate Harding’s Story

Celebrating inspirational gym members achieving amazing fitness goals.

Discovering fitness has been “a revelation” for Aura gym member Kate Harding who is proud to be “a first time gym bunny at 64!

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We recently spoke to Kate Harding, a local resident of Northop and Aura gym member who very kindly got in touch to tell us about her fitness journey and what it has been like to join and embrace a supportive fitness community.

Kate explained: “My fitness journey started around 4 years ago after a knee injury. I was advised to attend NERS (National Exercise Referral Scheme) fitness classes with Aura and initially followed an individual exercise programme written and overseen by my wonderful NERS Instructor, Sue Blackwell. I then took part in Aura’s free online fitness classes during the lockdown periods. Now, with the lifting of restrictions, I love visiting Aura leisure centres to use the gym and swimming pool and participate in all manner of fitness classes.”

Whilst fitness classes feature heavily in Kate’s weekly exercise routine, she also enjoys swimming and is currently following a new and personalised gym programme “under the guidance and watchful eye” of Fitness Instructor Simon Jenkins who Kate described as being “extremely knowledgeable, positive and patient”. She added: “I am like a child in a sweet shop and have nearly reached my personal challenge of trying all of Aura’s fitness classes, from Well-being Workouts to Circuit Training. Some of my favourite classes include Body Conditioning, Zumba, Pilates, Aquafit, HIIT, Thai Chi and Mixfit.

For many people, a lack of confidence can become a barrier when trying to embark on a fitness journey. Sport and exercise had previously held negative connotations for Kate who explained: “My PE teacher in school, in not so many words, told me that my ability for sport and exercise was very poor, yet now, when I think of her words, I realise that she inadvertently motivated me as I am as active as I’ve ever been and loving every minute.”

Thankfully, the positive and supportive aura in the gym has helped Kate to break down this barrier and feel confident during her workouts and classes. She added: “Well-being is hugely important at Aura, as is friendship and support from both members and employees. I have made lovely new friends and truly feel like a real part of the Aura family. Very importantly, I am also so much healthier, both physically and mentally. My achievements at Aura are very important to me as they have enhanced my life and I am proud of how far I have come.”

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Over the past 4 years Kate has seen fantastic fitness results, and explained: “I have hugely strengthened my knee and shoulder which I broke last year; my blood pressure is down to normal levels through exercise, and I have lost significant body fat and weight, monitored by Simon and the impressive ‘My Wellness’ machine and App available at Aura Fitness Suites.”

Simon Jenkins, one of Kate’s Fitness Instructors at Mold Fitness Suite, added: “I met Kate at her gym induction which we provide to all new customers. We perform health screening, explain safe use of equipment, chat about what the client wants to achieve and plan how we can work toward it. During my first meeting with Kate, she was immediately keen to learn and open to trying new activities. We decided that a variety of exercise would give Kate the best outcome, and I’m happy to say that she is quite literally going from strength to strength!

Kate explained to me that she had never really done much in the way of sports or physical exercise. I’m very glad that Kate decided that it was time to look after herself and join us in the gym and at classes. She is doing things that she thought (or was told) she would never be able to do and is now reaping the benefits. Kate is a joy to work with and it is a pleasure to spend time with her in the gym and during fitness classes.”

Kindly praising the whole Aura team, Kate said: “It has been a revelation to be part of Aura and it is so lovely to be surrounded by likeminded, hardworking and caring people who want to become or stay healthy. I can confidently say that I have always been greeted and treated with the utmost respect and warmth from receptionists, instructors, cleaners and managers across Aura leisure centres. I would like to whole heartedly say a huge thank you to everyone at Aura for all that they do. You are all stars!”

The whole Aura team would like to thank Kate for taking the time to share her fitness story with us. We wish her the very best of luck on her fitness journey and hope that her story will inspire others to achieve amazing fitness goals.

Are you an Aura gym member that would like to share your fitness journey and inspire others to achieve their fitness goals? Get in touch with us! Leave a comment below or on Aura’s social media pages, or send an email to: francesca.sciarrillo@aura.wales

 

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