Lift for Life brings family together at Brunswick Baths


Fitness is all about spending time with the family for Brunswick resident Nicole Kearney, her mother and daughter. The three generations visit Brunswick Baths together every Wednesday to enjoy physical activity programs suited to each of them and their interests.

Ms Kearney, 36, swims laps in the new indoor pool while her daughter Abbie, 4, has swimming lessons in the kids’ waterplay pool. Ms Kearney’s mother, Michele, 66, takes part in weekly Lift for Life classes run in the functional training room adjacent to the pool.The two mothers initially went along to watch Abbie in her lessons and they both noticed the low impact Lift for Life exercise class taking place at the same time.

“The participants all had chairs and were using them for support while doing weights and stretches” Ms Kearney said.  “The instructor came out to speak to us and explained about the class which was so nice, my mum joined in there and then.

”Lift for Life is an innovative fitness class run at Brunswick Baths, and other Active Moreland leisure centres, designed for older people to help rebuild strength and stability to keep up with the tasks of daily living.  Many of the exercises use resistance bands while sitting on a chair focusing on both upper and lower body movements which are modified to the individual’s ability.  

“I am thrilled mum can take an exercise class at the same time as my daughter's swimming lesson. I can see into the exercise room from one end of the pool, and see the swimming lessons from the other. It's been perfect.”

In the past 12 months Ms Langfield has been diagnosed with Dementia and Parkinson's disease. The first diagnosis came just after she retired from her role as an Associate Professor at Deakin University where she presented at conferences around the world on immigration history.

A very intelligent and naturally confident person before these diseases took their toll, Ms Langfield experienced a rapid decline in her weight, strength, stability and mobility, as well as her memory, self-esteem and happiness.

Ms Kearney said they looked for a program that would accommodate her needs for some time. Michele needed something that would improve her muscle tone, coordination and balance, but wouldn't allow her to fall and hurt herself and offered an environment that would help her feel comfortable and supported.

“She's been in Lift for Life ever since. The past year has been very hard for her so it’s wonderful for her to meet with a group of supportive and caring people each week, as well as to work on improving her strength and balance. Nick the instructor is fantastic.” Ms Kearney said. Meanwhile Abbie is making waves with her swimming ability; she’s able to swim a good distance under water unassisted and is learning about safety in and around the water as part of her weekly lessons.

“She has always loved the water and has a rather scary lack of fear of it” her mother Ms Kearney said.  “I feel extraordinarily grateful for the programs Brunswick Baths offers.  This has been immensely empowering for all of us” she said.Swimming lessons run seven days per week at all Active Moreland leisure centres.

Lift for Life classes run twice weekly at Active Moreland leisure centres as part of the Healthy Communities Initiative funded by Moreland City Council and the Commonwealth Government. Classes are just $5 per session.  To find out more visit or contact Brunswick Baths 9381 1840, Coburg Leisure Centre 9354 3504 or Fawkner Leisure Centre 9358 6600.