Super-fit pensioner bounds in to fill TV star’s video slot

The Oxford Times: 76-year-old Oxford fitness instructor, Jean Foster. picture: OX63970 Andrew Walmsley Buy this photo » 76-year-old Oxford fitness instructor, Jean Foster. picture: OX63970 Andrew Walmsley

SLAM poet Steve ‘Barkin’ Larkin’s Christmas single, Oi Codger — Be a Better Coffin Dodger! is going on sale on iTunes.


The Oxford Times:

Steve 'Barkin' Larkin

And one of the stars of the accompanying music video is 76-year-old Oxford fitness instructor, Jean Foster.

A tongue-in-cheek record which urges the elderly to get fit, Oi Codger features footage of pensioners from across the county, and if it gets into the charts, will go up against the likes of Lily Allen and the The X Factor winner.

Oi Codger’s quest for the top of the charts took a knock this week with news that veteran broadcaster Nicholas Parsons has pulled out of starring in the video.

The Oxford Times:

Nicholas Parsons.

So Jean Foster, who teaches six exercise classes for the over 60s across Oxford each week, stepped in to star in the video ‘working out’ with her Wednesday morning class.

Mrs Foster said: “I was delighted to be part of the video. Six members of my Age UK Wednesday class took part and everyone was pleased to help.

“I haven’t heard the record yet, but I hear it is irreverent – and the more irreverent the better!

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“It takes a bit of courage to walk into an exercise class, but the people who do increase their fitness and make new friends, and we want to encourage more people to do so.”

A former nurse at Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, who trained as a keep-fit teacher after retiring, Mrs Foster is seen taking her class through a warm-up, aerobics sessions, weight training and using apparatus such as resistance bands.

The Oxford Times:

Jean Foster in action. 

She added: “We all know this could end up on YouTube and frankly that would be great because the more people who see it, the more chance we have of getting people to try a class.”

Poet, playwright and musician Mr Larkin, 30, from Florence Park, Oxford, wrote Oi Codger as a poem for the launch of last year’s Oxfordshire Community Foundation’s Surviving Winter Fund.

The annual appeal gives cash grants to community groups and projects encouraging exercise and social interaction among the elderly.

It is now set against a catchy, aerobics-style beat with all proceeds from downloads going to the fund.

Producer Ricky Tart, 32, said the video also included a tea dance at Oxford Town Hall featuring “a group of very active and elegant people”.

He added: “We have also used shot-put, sprint, hurdles, and high jump footage from the Senior British Masters Athletic Federation.

“It’s a celebration of active senior citizens who enjoy meeting, keeping fit, and still strive for perfection.”

  • Download the single for 99p, or the single and the video for £1.99, at iTunes.

Jean's top tips to get OAPs fit

ADULTS aged 65 and over spend on average 10 hours or more each day sitting or lying down.
People over 60 should aim to take part in a short period of exercise, which makes them out of breath, five times a week.

Jean’s top tips for fitness:

  • Start gently and gradually increase activity as you are able
  • When washing up, lean up against your kitchen worktop and lift your heels alternatively, getting faster and faster
  • Progress to lifting alternate legs out to the back and the side.
  •  At the foot of the stairs, lean on a post or banister and step up to the first stair, before putting both feet back down on the floor, repeat as many times as you are able
  • Take up an exercise class you enjoy – like water aerobics – or go for a brisk walk with a friend.


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