Why gym members love fitness programmes for older adults

7 min read
Wednesday, 25 January 2023

Inspiring older adults to keep active, the owner of Mercian Fitness in the UK, Ian Northcott, knows the benefits that movement and mobility bring at any age, as does his community.  

The Mercian Fitness community have been embracing heart rate training, Nordik walking, and gym classes, motivating each other and building the endurance to keep moving in a positive trend of active ageing.

Exercise and physical activity is not just for the six-pack and super fit stereotypes. Understanding the secrets to improving your wellbeing, this is what happens when gyms empower people to break the expectations and move however they want.

"It was an easy decision to start using Myzone"

“I found it difficult to judge what level I was working at, so it was an easy decision to start using Myzone. As well as using it for monitoring work rates, we also use Myzone to make classes more varied with the ability to simulate races, get everyone involved in setting the pace and interesting relay races.

“We implemented a Sin Bin for going outside the required zones, and it's helped us all gain greater control over our heart rates. The challenges give extra motivation to train. Long term ones (three months) develop consistency and the shorter week-long ones get you to concentrate on certain levels.

“You do your exercise, maintain your status and stand a chance of an Amazon voucher.”

Susan R, aged 64

"Myzone changed my view on exercise"

“I’ve been using Myzone for five years and it has changed my whole view on exercise. It’s very motivating and has helped me obtain a very good fitness level. Using Myzone has been a real help; tracking and recording my effort has helped me focus and set goals.


“I have done four Nordic walking endurance walks, completed several 5k and 10k runs and have rowed a marathon. Ian has set all my training using Myzone to monitor my efforts.

"My achievements have far outweighed my expectation of what l could achieve.”

Carol Goode, aged 68

"An instant, clear visual of effort"

“Undesirable childhood experiences of becoming hot and breathless led to an avoidance of cardiovascular activities throughout my life. That was until my retirement a few years ago when Ian introduced me to Myzone.

“Easy to use anywhere, Myzone gave me an instant, clear visual acknowledgement of me and my effort. Worries about my inability to cope with my own perceived zones of exertion soon disappeared with the reassurance that Myzone provided.

“My fear disappeared, confidence to work safely in higher zones has grown and I now willingly elect to participate in cardio activities. The personalised statistics are interesting and useful to me but they reliably inform and assist Ian in advising me along my fitness journey.

"His CV classes include virtual races, movement between zones, finding and following a leader also changing positions when the time is right.

“We are quickly getting to know others, their accomplishments and difficulties, in our Myzone community. Members wanted a MZ league so one has recently been introduced, utilising Zone Match activities.

“Myzone is so motivating. My fear has gone, furthermore Myzone and Ian have put fun into fitness.”

Corinne, aged 69


"I can't believe how fit I feel"

“I am so lucky to have Ian as my coach as he has taught me how to use Myzone correctly to enhance my training. In December I used my indoor rower to row a full marathon. The information given from Myzone helped me pace myself to achieve my goal.

“I always wear my Myzone belt when I’m Nordic walking to measure my physical activity. During our zoom cardio sessions when clients are using a variety of exercise machines, it’s fantastic to be able share our readings. It certainly makes sessions fun especially when I’m working alongside other competitive people like me.

“Ian has taught us there are no limits to our achievements and he makes exercise fun, especially when using Myzone. He has transformed our lives and is always encouraging us to do well.

“I just can’t believe how fit I feel and it’s all down to a great coach that fully believes age is no barrier and the use of Myzone.”

Pat, aged 70

"My fitness has improved over the years as a result of using Myzone"

“I would like to take this opportunity to say how much my fitness has improved over the years as a result of using Myzone. It’s great fun to use.

“Ian sets challenges for us and it really encourages me to work at my maximum effort. I’m 78 and I intend to keep exercising with the help and encouragement of Ian and Myzone.”

Eileen, aged 78

"Get to grips with what different levels of intensity feels like"

“Ian’s expert use of Myzone has been a real game changer for me as I have progressed through my journey to fitness. I’ve been training with Ian at Mercian Fitness for three years and was pretty unfit with little understanding of what fitness really is.

“Ian used Myzone to help me get to grips with what different levels of intensity of work feels like and that it was normal to feel out of breath and bit uncomfortable at times, and actually to get fitness results you do have to push yourself outside of comfort zone.

“Ian now encourages me to use Myzone to tailor my training so I can meet my goals, and that sometimes includes making sure I get recovery in, too. I now feel pretty confident that I can listen to my body to know what the different levels of intensity feel like.

"Using Myzone as an additional training tool and the ability to know how I should feel gives me the confidence to push myself safely to achieve far more than I ever thought I could.”

Pauline, aged 56


"It's a safe and secure way to monitor my heart rate"

“I just love my Myzone. it allows me to see how hard I’m working and how much effort I’m putting into my exercise. I feel it’s a safe and secure way to monitor my heart rate, to see how much I’m capable of and just as importantly, how quickly my heart recovers from the activity.

“I wear my Myzone whenever I’m Nordic walking and for all of Ian’s online exercise classes. We have great fun and there’s a lovely camaraderie between the members when we’re on our various CV machines.

“We all love the fact that we can see and work with each other, it’s a great motivational tool. It’s good because we’re all working at our own level of fitness and we can all reach the different zones safely as we all know our Myzone is set up for us as an individual.

“I’ve never been as fit as I am now and I never thought I’d become a keep fit junkie at my age. I can’t imagine my life without it now.”

Elaine, aged 65

"No end to the ways Myzone can be used"

“I didn’t get Myzone at first because I felt I was a good judge of how hard I was working and did not need external motivation to work hard. How wrong I was! Ian is teaching us to use Myzone to fine-tune our fitness programme and to make our workouts as effective and efficient as possible.

“Using Myzone in a class is very satisfying because, although we all have different levels of fitness and different maximum heart rates, the zones relate to our own maximum heart so, when we match zones, we are all working at the same difficulty levels.

“When all the members of a class log in we can use Myzone to match one another’s level, to take turns ‘leading’ and gain motivation from working. There seems to be no end to the ways Myzone can be used. For instance, Ian just taught me how to use the timer.

“Myzone really is an invaluable fitness device. Now, I can’t imagine training without it!”


"I enjoy the traceability of my fitness"

“I’ve been using Myzone with Ian since 2021. I’ve found it very motivating to track my cardiovascular zones and especially with Zone Matches, when exercising on my own. It means I don’t slacken off and keep to the zone. I enjoy the instant traceability of my fitness.

“In group sessions members can work together in the same zones and exercise to our own capacities. We can ensure we get the best out of all our exercising, which is especially good if time is scarce.

"I also wear Myzone doing walks so I can see how hard I’ve worked and if it counts sufficiently towards my fitness targets for the day. I see it as a key element of staying fit both as part of my individual training programme and in group activities.

“Since using Myzone training I’ve seen my fitness improve dramatically especially when I go out doing Nordic walking. I’m so much faster and less tired than before.”


"So glad we've been introduced to Myzone"

“I’m so glad that Ian introduced his clients to the Myzone heart rate monitor. Thanks to his knowledge and enthusiasm for this fitness tool, he has helped us understand aerobic and anaerobic exercise in relation to levels of cardiovascular exercise within the zones and the importance of recovery.

“Ian knows his clients so well, and as a Myzone operator is able to monitor our heart rates. He is very vigilant about resetting the monitor if we are not looking/feeling as we should be in each, particularly if we reach red.

“This has been the case with me, but conversely if exercising in a zone has felt too easy for me, he has altered my maximum heart rate level accordingly. We have a lot of fun in his CV Zoom sessions, too, which are geared to high intensity training and endurance.

“I am one of Ian’s older clients and I feel fitter than I have for years. I was recently able to keep up with my nephew who is 25 years younger on a six-mile walk along a hilly Yorkshire coastal path.”


Discover more reasons how Mercian Fitness and Myzone show that age is no barrier to fitness.

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