Long standing Dandenong Oasis member John Dowling is living proof of the outstanding benefits of maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle after retirement.
John recently turned 94 but age is only a number to the veteran of more than two decades as a regular at the City of Greater Dandenong recreation facility. He does not use any medication and rarely misses a session.
He recently had a chat to staff and reflected on his life and time at Dandenong Oasis.
How long have you been a member?
I think around 25 years now.
I started off in the water, then once I retired, I joined the gym. I had lifted weights in the past and had a physical job so when I retired, I realised I had to keep strong and active.
What activities do you do at Oasis?
I come in three times a week and stick to my routine in the gym.
I did use the pool and sauna but just the gym now because I feel the things I do in the gym are more beneficial for me. The pool is good to help with the aches and pains though and the occasional stiffness.
I do a stretch in the stretching area and with the Swiss ball, then bicep curls and pulley row, leg press and chest press machines and onto the treadmill for a walk. I then work through all the machines (in the middle section of the gym) and finish off with the recumbent bike.
What’s the secret to a healthy and balanced life?
Consistency over a long time and keeping active. Gym three times a week, bowls once or twice and darts on a Monday night keeps me busy.
I also have been told by my neighbour Nina that I eat like a horse - good quality food and plenty of it.
Advice to others?
Dandenong Oasis is the best place in the world so everyone should get here and see what they can do.
Start early so it helps you in the long run and keeps you out of the chemist and the doctor’s room. Exercise helps you get well quicker if you do get sick because you’re fitter and stronger.
Joining a place like Dandenong Oasis is the best investment you can make. What else can you get for a few dollars a session these days?
What do you enjoy about Dandenong Oasis?
Take your pick! There’s lots of options like the pool and the gym and the sauna. Lots of equipment in the gym to use. Friendly people to talk to with other gym members and staff. There’s lots of good company here - sometimes my two-hour sessions turn into two and a half hours because of the good company of other people. I enjoy feeling better after exercising.
Do you follow a program?
David wrote me a program because I wanted to know how to use all the equipment. He showed me a little bit at a time and now I use all of it. I do at least 30 reps on the weights machines.
My goals are to keep healthy, keep off the meds and be able to keep bowling. I feel that this helps with my bowling and my bowling helps with this. I want to keep coming here for as long as possible.