Since buying her brand new apartment at Churchill Retirement Living's Sachs Lodge in Torquay, Tai Chi instructor Liz Lark has enjoyed hosting weekly sessions in the Owners' Lounge to get to know her new neighbours and help them maintain a healthy body and mind.
Liz explains: "Come into the Sachs Lodge Owners' Lounge on Wednesday mornings at 9:30am and you'll find the furniture moved back, soft music playing in the background and a group of like-minded friends greeting each other with a hug. A hug cures everything and extends your longevity (so it said).
"Along with owners and outside friends we spend an hour doing simple yet highly effective 'low impact' Tai Chi and Qigong exercises, a work-out where we learn to 'slow down' and revitalise our energy, test our mind and memory, and reduce stress.
"Yes, even Churchill owners experience stress sometimes...Even if it's just about what to do with all our spare time!
"Our eventual goal? To improve balance, posture, strength and memory.
"Our ages range from late 60's to 91 years old. Chairs can be used for support and there's no sitting on the floor work! Everyone achieves and nothing is impossible whatever our age or physical ability. By the end of our weekly session Tai Chi makes us feel calmer and stronger in body and mind.
"Finally, we all relax with a coffee when we've returned the furniture in the Lounge to its original status.
"One of the Qigong exercises is nick-named 'Crazy Waiter', using our arms as if carrying a tray and gyrating our body at the same time. A bit like patting your head with one hand and rubbing your tummy in circles with the other!
"Why is 'Crazy Waiters' so appropriate for us? Because Andrew Sachs, the actor whom our Lodge is named after, played Manuel the crazy waiter in Fawlty Towers!"
Sachs Lodge is a collection of 33 one and two bedroom privately owned retirement apartments and shared facilities, designed exclusively for the over 60's. The show complex is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm. For more information call 01803 701600 or visit www.churchillretirement.co.uk.