Edna Sheppard: Meet the 100-year-old fitness fanatic who still does up to five gym classes a week

Edna Sheppard is an inspiring 100-year-old fitness fanatic who goes to the gym three times a week – proving that age truly is just a number.

The great-grandmother has been a loyal member of the Broadmeadows Aquatic and Leisure Center in Melbourne’s north for 40 years.

Despite her age, Edna can do full push-ups, sit-ups, planks, barbell squats and workouts while holding 5kg weights in each hand.

‘I do enjoy exercising, it makes me feel good and it’s important to keep the body moving,’ Edna told FEMAIL.

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Beloved Melbourne great-grandmother Edna Sheppard (pictured) has been a loyal member of the Broadmeadows Aquatic and Leisure Center in Melbourne’s north for 40 years and participates in up to five gym classes every week

Despite her age, Edna can do full push-ups, sit-ups, planks, barbell squats and workouts while holding 5kg weights in each hand

Despite her age, Edna can do full push-ups, sit-ups, planks, barbell squats and workouts while holding 5kg weights in each hand

In the 1980s when her late-husband Max retired at 60 she ‘didn’t want him sitting at home doing nothing’, so she signed them both up to classes at the leisure centre.

These days she goes to the gym every Monday and Friday taking part in tai chi, aerobics and weights classes – and on Wednesdays she walks with the club. Sometimes she participates in up to five classes a week.

‘We do weights and all sorts of floor exercises, which I like,’ she said.

From the age of three through to her teenage years Edna loved dancing and did calisthenics. When she was a young adult she also took part in ballroom dancing.

‘At the age of 11 I won the prize for the ‘best physical culture child’ in Victoria,’ she recalled.

In previous years Edna took part in eight classes a week, including swimming classes and Zumba.

On days when she doesn’t feel like working out she still manages to put her sneakers on and visit the leisure center for a training session.

‘I do what I can – you need to know what you can and can’t do at your age,’ she said.

In the 80s when her late-husband Max retired at 60 she 'didn't want him sitting at home doing nothing', so she signed them both up to classes at the leisure centre.  And from there she hasn't stopped going back since (pictured: Edna at the front of a gym class working out)

In the 80s when her late-husband Max retired at 60 she ‘didn’t want him sitting at home doing nothing’, so she signed them both up to classes at the leisure centre. And from there she hasn’t stopped going back since (pictured: Edna at the front of a gym class working out)

During Covid lockdowns when the gyms were closed Edna worked out in the comfort of her own home using dumbbells.

And her main piece of advice to others is to ‘try hard’ and ‘keep moving’ but to also ‘understand your body’.

‘Make sure you know what you can do and what you can’t do, it’s not good pushing yourself or hurting yourself,’ she said.

From the age of three through to her teenage years Edna used to adore dancing and did calisthenics (pictured: Edna (left) with her sister (right)

Edna married her late-husband Max (pictured, left) in 1942 but unfortunately he passed away 15 years ago

From the age of three through to her teenage years Edna used to adore dancing and did calisthenics (pictured: Edna, far left, with sister). Edna married her late-husband Max (pictured: second from right) in 1942 but unfortunately he passed away 15 years ago

When asked what her secret is to living a long and happy life, Enda said the key is to take care of your body and be kind.

‘I have never smoked or drunk alcohol and I’ve always exercised as much as I could,’ she said.

‘I’ve always tried to mix well with people and do things for others.’

Edna said her diet consists of ‘plain, old fashioned good cooking’ and never eats spicy food because she doesn’t enjoy it.

She cooks all her meals herself and makes sure she eats plenty of fruit and vegetables too.

‘Make sure to look after your body, because no-one else will do it for you,’ she said.

Edna’s tips to living a long life:

Take care of your body, because no-one else is going to do it for you

Try hard to workout but don’t injure yourself

Get along with other people

Care for each other

Edna’s tips on love and romance:

Communication is key

Talk everything out

Don’t be jealous

Be there for each other

Edna and Max married in 1942, but unfortunately Max passed away 15 years ago, and Edna said the key to a long relationship is communication.

‘You need to listen to each other and if you have differences [in opinions]talk it out and things go right,’ she said.

‘I had a lovely marriage with Max because we were able to do just that – we’d always work it out.’

Earlier this year on January 29 Edna celebrated her 100th birthday at the Broadmeadows Aquatic and Leisure Center surrounded by family, friends and members of the club

Earlier this year on January 29 Edna celebrated her 100th birthday at the Broadmeadows Aquatic and Leisure Center surrounded by family, friends and members of the club

'Exercising has always been part of my life and I'd be unhappy if I couldn't do it,' she said

‘Exercising has always been part of my life and I’d be unhappy if I couldn’t do it,’ she said

Earlier this year on January 29 Edna celebrated her 100th birthday at the Broadmeadows Aquatic and Leisure Center surrounded by family, friends and members of the club.

‘We had family from all over Australia come and visit, it was really lovely,’ she said.

‘Exercising has always been part of my life and I’d be unhappy if I couldn’t do it.’

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