We sadly lost my father-in-law very suddenly to a brain tumour seven years ago, and my mother-in-law turned to her faith for solace.
Fitness wasn’t a priority for her at the time, but I knew it would help her mental and physical wellbeing. I started introducing her to light chair exercises and she started to feel the benefits almost immediately.
My mother-in-law’s mental and physical health has seen measurable improvements. In just nine months, her arthritis and knee pain has drastically reduced, and her focus and strength has improved tenfold. Despite having a fall a few months ago, which would ordinarily have caused a fracture, her training has strengthened her bone density and helped to prevent osteoporosis. She also says that she has more energy and is able to do more in a day now, due to her overall fitness and stamina increasing.
When I first launched my national fitness campaigns for the elderly, I asked her to join me on camera. She was shy to begin with, but once she saw the incredible feedback we received, she realised she is helping and inspiring thousands worldwide. In order to reach a wider audience and support her peers, she even started to translate the workouts into Gujarati.
Committing to regular workouts and seeing the difference her videos are making to her peers has given her a deep sense of purpose. One of the positives to come from the Covid-19 pandemic for me is having this precious quality time to spend with her.
It has been a special bonding experience, strengthening our relationship further and I’m so proud of her!
Lavina Mehta was awarded an MBE for services to health and fitness during Covid-19. She is an award-winning personal trainer and wellness coach, regularly on TV and radio passionately promoting the health benefits of exercise to treat, prevent and reduce risks of common chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and osteoporosis. She is also a big advocate of the mental health benefits of exercise.