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Elderly citizens learn Parkour in the UK


Elderly Practice Parkour

George Jackson, 85, an army veteran and former boxer swings on monkey bars as he participates at a parkour class for elderly people at a park in south London.

‘I really enjoy it and wish I could do more, said Jackson, the class’ oldest participant.

The London parkour class of about a dozen students is taught by two instructors who have adapted the sport’s main elements to a level that can be handled even by those over 60 who have replacement joints or other medical conditions.

Elderly Practice Parkour

“I wondered whether it was a government plot to get rid of old people when I heard about the class,” Thomson joked, another participant in the workshops. She said she has balance problems and that the class helps her feel more confident about getting around. “Being able to get outside and do silly things like hugging trees is great,” she said, referring to a stretching exercise.

While most fitness classes aimed at seniors focus on calmer activities such as dance or yoga, experts say parkour is a reasonable, if unorthodox, option.

David Terrace, a health and fitness expert for the charity Age U.K., said any efforts to get older people more active should be welcomed. He said adaptations have been made to other sports to help the elderly exercise more, such as turning soccer into walking soccer and building customized boats to accommodate wheelchairs for sailing.

“There’s no age limit for exercise, it’s just about the individual and what they feel comfortable doing,” he said.

At 85, George Jackson is the oldest participant in the London parkour class.

“I really enjoy it and wish I could do more,” said Jackson, an army veteran and former boxer. “I just sometimes forget how old I am and that I can’t do certain things.”

This is a great example of Parkour being used to help people find themselves and regain their vitality back. I hope to see more and more initiatives like this in the near future.

Train long and safe!

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