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George Pownall, 74, a retired documentary film-maker and writer, drives from his home near Clapham to take part in classes at Dulwich Park

He said: “I used to play tennis in Dulwich Park and a friend goes to BMF so I think I heard about Walkfit that way. I’ve been going along for nearly five years now and go at least twice a week most weeks and I enjoy it very much. It’s a very good habit to get into because at my age it would be quite easy to just sit in my armchair and read the newspaper but instead I’m saying oh it’s nine o’clock, time to get going to Walkfit. It’s friendly and sociable because we all know one another and I would otherwise see very few other people in the course of the day. I’m 74 now and getting a bit creaky as people do at my age but I’m certainly fitter than most people my age I’m sure and feel stretched after each session – in a good way.

“My wife now goes along as well. She used to do Pilates and things but has been won over to the idea of doing outside exercise.

“The health benefits are real – we walk as fast as we can and then stop to do some squats or press ups which we groan about but they have to be good and it’s certainly better than pounding away on one of those awful machines – you feel good just being outside.

It’s also very friendly and it’s also worth every penny – it’s very inexpensive.

“The instructors are also really terrific. I’ve met quite a few of them over the years and I can’t remember one that wasn’t a thoroughly nice person and they’ve all had rather different experiences which makes them really interesting people. You get to know them and they’re good fun.”

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