The cold stings a bit at the start of the morning at the end of January. The thermometer flirts with 0 ° C in the courtyard of the school in Grémévillers, in the Oise. This is the price to pay during the Covid period to continue to talk since all the communal rooms are closed for sanitary reasons.
Marie-Laure Beaudoin is not the owner of the place but she directs the maneuver in front of ten students (to register for his courses, information on his website Moov’adapt). There is Sylviane, “Pierrot” or Nelly: inhabitants of the small village of 450 souls nestled in the countryside. All are over 55 years old. After a lifetime of hard work, often in the surrounding fields, the little band goes back to sport, at their own pace and without constraint: “I offer them gentle movements,” says the coach specializing in adapted physical activity, based on flexibility, stretching, muscle building. We are here in a rural setting with people who have spent their lives in the fields with difficult jobs. I am here to help them feel better about their bodies, to give them back the taste of a physical activity that their job has no longer allowed them to practice. Everything is done according to their desire and their ability with one goal: to slow down the aging of their body. “
In the village, Sylviane, “Pierrot” or Nelly meet at the bakery but do not know each other. For an hour on Saturdays, moving their sometimes rusty bodies, they get to know each other. “It’s important to work on their morale,” continues Marie-Laure Beaudoin, who also gives classes at home.
“We talk at our own pace and without constraint”
A few departments away, in Val-de-Marne, Mehdi Vigneron’s approach is roughly the same. He is a coordinator and departmental development advisor for the FFEPGV (French Federation of Physical Education and Voluntary Gymnastics) which brings together nearly 500,000 members in 5,600 clubs in France. (to find a voluntary gymnastics club, contact the French Federation: 01.41.72.26.00).
Behind this name, voluntary gym, a little obsolete, hides a trendy discipline: “Voluntary gym is a sporting session adapted to the capacities of each one, whatever their form and their desires, explains Mehdi Vigneron. It is aimed at all ages, even if 50% of members are over 60 years old. »For an annual subscription of 80 to 110 euros, the voluntary gym is aimed at those who do not have the desire or the age to register in a traditional sports association, a gym club and who do not want do anything alone in front of their mirror: “We do it for pleasure first, warns Mireille, 74, without a performance goal. We meet with friends, we talk physically, at our own pace and without constraint. In my group, we are 60 to 90 years old and, when we are finished, we always feel better than when we arrived. “
Sessions organized by video
Here, outside of a pandemic period, the girlfriends meet for one to two hours a week. Instead of knitting, they practice Pilates while chatting when the boys replace the belote by a gentle strengthening of their tired abs: “These sessions, notes Mehdi Vigneron, fight against memory loss, promote the balance of old people. , help to recover from a fall, to prevent cardiovascular accidents. We are in a process of both physical and psychological well-being to delay aging as much as possible. “
And without constraint because, in “voluntary gym”, both words are important. “During the crisis, activities are obviously at a slower pace,” continues the Val-de-Marne advisor. But they are not stopped. Outdoor activities and lessons (Nordic walking, etc.) continue while respecting health rules. We also organize video sessions. We manage not to abandon our members who are all very demanding to continue their activity. The gentle gym is also a remedy for the crisis.
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr