TYRE-FLIPPING pensioners are proving they’re fighting fit after a new study found weight-lifting reduces the risks of osteoporosis.

Alan Thompson, 83, has been attending weekly Crossfit sessions for nearly a year-and-a-half.

He can be seen lifting weights, rowing, and even doing strongman exercises at Crossfit All Out in Newton Aycliffe.

He now competes with his eight-year-old grandson who takes part in the Crossfit children’s group.

He said: “I started because I put on weight and I got lazy.

“My granddaughter came along with the Crossfit idea and I thought I’d try it. I’d encourage anyone to give it a try.”

Mr Thompson’s gym is run by husband and wife team Vikki and Terry Anderson.

The pair launched the gym just over five years ago and started the over 50s club to help the older community prevent falls and breaks.

Alongside Mr Thompson, 70-year-old Maureen Richardson attends the sessions.

She decided to join the club as she wanted a hobby for herself after her husband died in October 2017.

Mrs Richardson said: “At first I wanted to try and get fit and lose a little bit of weight.

“I think the classes are great as I’ve always been a fit person and since I started, I feel fantastic in myself.

“It’s good because you do all sorts and people have said how good I look at 70.

“You can be a couch potato any day of the week but come here, make yourself come, and get into a routine because it will make you confident, healthier and fitter.”

The pair are part of a group of four over 50s members at the gym keen to welcome new members.

Crossfit is a form of exercise which can be adapted for people at any age and level of fitness.

The programme is designed for everyone including people who are just starting out and people who have trained for years.

Co-owner Mr Anderson, coaches at the gym alongside Allen McGee.

His vision is to boost his older clients’ speed agility and quickness.

He hopes the exercises he teaches will prevent falls and breaks.

He said: “A lot of the time when old people fall they have a break because they don’t have the speed agility or quickness to prevent it.

“I want to make their reactions quicker and increase their range of motion as this will prevent the trip or fall.

“Our older people inspire us everyday – we have members from three to 83. It is inclusive for everybody and I would recommend people give it a go.

“At training we are all in – my life is about exercise and we want you to come through that door because you want to be here.”

The over 50s Crossfit group have explained the benefits of resistance training following research into preventing osteoporosis.

The new Durham University study found that people in their sixties who spent a lot of time sitting down had weaker bones which increased their risk of developing fragility fractures.

The researchers also found that men spent more time sitting still than women and therefore had weaker bones, particularly in their lower back.

It is the first study to show that a sedentary lifestyle in men is associated with weaker bones and osteoporosis.

Over half a million fragility fractures – where a fracture occurs from a fall at standing height or less – happen each year in the United Kingdom.

It is estimated that by 2025, that number will have gone up by 27 per cent.

Dr Karen Hind from the department of sport and exercise sciences at Durham University, said: “We know that excessive sedentary time can lower someone’s metabolism which can lead to being overweight and Type 2 diabetes. What we now know is that being inactive is also associated with lower bone strength and an increased risk of osteoporosis.

“Osteoporosis is a disease that affects older people but by encouraging this age group to keep active, it will help improve their bone health.”

The club runs sessions for all ages and abilities. For more infromation visit @alloutcrossfit on Facebook or visit crossfitallout.co.uk