WITH about 70% of all Australian men, 55% of women and 25% of children classified as overweight or obese, a group of Gympie mums has taken the lead in being healthy role models.
Of the 14 qualified instructors at Cooloola Fitness Centre, 11 are mums with infants or school aged children.
The gym, established in 1982, is owned and run by a family with young children.
Matt and Kaye Stallmann and their two daughters say exercise is for everyone and the instructors who have the greatest passion are parents who have their family and the wider community at heart.
Enter the mums.
"There is nobody like our team of enthusiastic instructors,” Mrs Stallman said.
"In between drop-offs and pick-ups from swimming lessons, ballet or soccer they breeze in with the greatest energy and motivate patrons with their excitement to push on and reach their goals,” she said.
Mother-of-three Tracey says, "When I find the exercise is getting a little hard, encouragement from someone I connect with, having a laugh with, someone who understands the late nights and the endless tidying up is the best motivation.
"I don't go in for the high impact stuff, instructors shouting encouragement, I just want to be fit for my kids.”
Since purchasing the gym 14 months ago, Matt and Kaye have embraced the diversity of the region and along with their squad of locals, have engaged with special needs groups, rehabilitation and veterans, and local schools. They provide specific programs for each, with the help of local mums supporting fitness across the entire Gympie community.
Generations of mothers have been involved at Cooloola Fitness.
"You wouldn't believe the buzz I get when a boy or girl who used to be in my care suddenly turns up as a young athlete and begins working machines in the gym the way their parents do,” said Lisa, who first worked at the creche 18 years ago.
"Cooloola Fitness Centre has a great, friendly, and family atmosphere.
"Not only the staff, but the members are also very motivating and supporting of each other.”