Debbie Quinn, 57 – Healthy Body and Healthy Mind

Name: Debbie Quinn | Age: 57

Tell us a little about yourself

My name is Debbie Quinn I am 57 and live in Northern Ireland in a town called Comber with my two sons Bailie age 20 and Zak age 15, my daughter Jodi is 29 and lives in Dubai with her husband Chris and my grandson Jenson who is 5.

I am a part-time fitness instructor, I teach approximately 14 classes per week, which range from gentle aerobics/movement for seniors, armchair based exercise classes which include, balance and strength, stretching, dancing, Zumba, Pilates, step aerobics and yoga.

An image of the #ageamazing Debbie Quinn teaching one of her fitness classes.

I love my job as I can see the benefits so clearly, a lot of people arrive at my active health classes for many reasons; for balance maybe after a fall, loneliness to make new friends after a bereavement, to strengthen hips, knees, to release shoulder and back pain, the list goes on…

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After the class the group go for a cup of tea or some lunch, we chat during the class and when I am teaching I like to give an explanation why a twist would help them reverse their car, how a sit to stand will build muscle and strength in their legs to keep them moving etc.

At Zumba we love to dance salsa, music is so therapeutic for everyone of all ages, I tell my class you’re here to have fun so if you can’t dance just move to the music, if it feels good to do it. I work with the Alzheimer’s groups, adults with learning difficulties, young adults at schools, everyone loves Zumba it’s so much fun.

In my spare time for leisure, I go to dancing lessons salsa, bachata, cha cha, I dance most weekends. I enjoy hill walking, I recently qualified as a yoga teacher so I spend a lot of time on my mat doing yoga and reading about yoga, I would love to go to Bali to a yoga retreat.

What do you like about growing older?

I enjoy maturing as I have learned so much, about life, about the mind about people. I really enjoy life, as I have a wide variety of friends, and I have a good working life balance. I achieved a lot through doing the MBTI with a wonderful lady called Hilary Perrott. , I owe a lot to Hilary as she opened my eyes, my mind, my confidence, I have been able to take charge of my life, I am much stronger, balanced, and happier.

My attitude to life now is to be as positive as you can be, to be happy in all situations, and to trust in God as he is my strength, I have gone through many trials in my life but I am at the other end stronger.

What made you begin fitness?

When I was a teenager I was overweight, I got my first job in a leisure centre back in 1980, my then boss owned a gym, he was Mr Universe  – a bodybuilder. I started going to his gym, I ended up competing in miss fitness competitions. After that I started teaching aerobics and went on to do personal training, helping others to train and eat properly, I still do personal training to a group of ladies I have been training for 27 years.

What are your best health & beauty tips?

My biggest health and beauty tips are, if you feel good on the inside you will look good on the outside, I drink hot water and lemon every morning and do 45 minutes of yoga.

I have found products that are great for maturing skin, called Glo Skin, they are clinical and really keep my skin healthy. I have a clinical chemical peel every month and microdermabrasion on pigmentation spots.

I feel a healthy mind is as important as a healthy body, if not more important, MBTI was the way forward for me. As we age posture is very important, keeping our shoulders straight, our spines healthy, yoga and Pilates are very beneficial for both.

The diet I follow is low G. I keep my meat consumption low and eat very little chicken. I love fish, vegetables, salad. I don’t eat bread, and I have never drunk tea or coffee in my life, I don’t like butter of any kind, or cheese. My diet is very healthy and has been since I was competing many years ago.

Whats your advice for ageing well?

My biggest tip for ageing well is to exercise keep the muscles supple and find something you enjoy, there’s so much to choose from! Walking groups, dancing classes, yoga, tai chi, join a leisure centre.

An image of the #ageamazing Debbie Quinn in a summer dress.

A healthy mind is just as important. Talk about your worries and your fears, keep moving, have friends who you can go out with, eat healthily, join groups – U3A are a great group for anyone retired they have so many outings. Churches also have ladies and men’s groups, keep busy, live for the moment don’t look too far ahead, try not to worry, as fear is false, keep your thoughts healthy and keep laughing and smiling every day.

At 57 I am in better shape than I have ever been, I feel amazing, my energy levels are great, I am so glad I trained as a yoga teacher as it has taught me so much, and brought so much balance into my life as a single parent, and as a fitness instructor. I hope to continue teaching for another few years mainly to seniors, to keep dancing, to go on a yoga retreat, and to see my children happy.

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