Younger Friends Help Us Stay Youthful says Diana Moran
Green Goddess, Diana Moran, talks to Hapipod Founder, Andrea Frankenthal, about how she maintains her vitality
Diana Moran fondly became known as the Green Goddess through her trademark green leotard when she hit our TV screens in the 1980s introducing fitness to the nation. Now in her 80s she is no less dynamic and still helping keep the nation moving.
One of her greatest assets, she says, especially since her second marriage ended some 25 years ago, is having younger companions who keep her energised, youthful and passionate about life. Having launched Hapipod.com, a website connecting homeowners with younger lodgers who will offer help and company for affordable rooms, I wanted to find out more from Diana about the benefits these intergenerational connections can bring.
What keeps you so positive and upbeat?
“I am interested in people. I was, in fact, before the Green Goddess, a personnel and welfare officer. And I love meeting people of any age. I love encouraging people and I think that if you’re interested in other people, it comes back to you because other people find you interesting.”
You’re an amazing 82 — how old do you feel?
“On a good day when I wake up if, I’ve had a decent night’s sleep I feel about 65–70. If I’m really honest, the back isn’t quite as good as it used to be. Too much gardening and perhaps other sports that I’ve overdone sometimes. But, with an attitude of mind I can do most things.”
Are we becoming younger as a nation?
“Certainly, we are becoming younger, we’ve got a good attitude of mind and we do feel we can do things forever. But you’ve got to remember that these days you’ve got the NHS with excellent medical attention when you need it. Life is also less physically demanding these days. Remember our parents did a lot of physical work. There weren’t the cars, they had to walk places. Also, we’ve got access to good food. I didn’t see a banana till I was about 8 years old! And because of all that, we’ve got more time and we should have less stress.”
Has the age gap between the generations diminished?
“I think that the age gap has changed in my lifetime. When I was a little girl, somebody of 50 or 60 — gosh they were old! And certainly at 60 which was the retirement age then — you know, time for the slippers, time for the rocking chair, that was expected of people. So, all that attitude has changed. And we’re very fortunate because there’s more accessibility for all of us to carry on with an interesting life for as many years as we want to.”
Who are some of your youngest companions and what kind of activities do you enjoy with them?
“I consider my grandchildren and my sons to be my very close companions. And because I am physically active, they don’t give it a second thought if we’re going trekking or going out on bikes. They just assume that I’m going to be able to do things as well. I have several companions in their 50s and I Iove being in their company, particularly, and sometimes we go out on our bicycles together.”
“I also do a lot of charity work particularly for Breast cancer and Senior’s charities, and young children with disabilities. At 70 I trekked the Great Wall of China for charity and I did a triathlon when I was 80, so it’s just assumed that I can do things.”
What’s the most beneficial aspect of having companions younger than you?
“The major advantage of having younger companions, is that it gives you another perspective on life. You can associate more with the times, with the language, the speech the attitude, the music. It keeps you up to date. And I love it for that reason.
These days, with the work that I do whether it’s in journalism or broadcasting, I’m invariably surrounded by young people. I love their enthusiasm and they look at me as ‘the old pro’. And we both feed off one another. Life is richer for me because of my being around younger people.”
Does it follow that homesharing with a younger person is a good idea as you get older?
“I think Hapipod is an excellent idea, particularly in this modern day and age. The possibility of somebody using a spare room to get a little extra income as well as companionship or help could be of real benefit to some people. I think it’s an ideal thing to consider having somebody to come and take a room in your house, especially if it was a family house previously and all the other occupants have grown and flown. As you get older like myself, it could be that all too easily you have an accident. Even I, and I’m pretty physical, had a very serious accident a year ago. I fell getting out of the bath, crashed against the bath, and cracked it and had to get to A&E. I was fortunate to get out of the bath. I’ve also had a couple of serious ops in my life. It would have helped me to know that there was somebody else in the house, and it could have helped somebody else on their way through life.”
It is not hard to see how Diana Moran in her boundless enthusiasm and tireless charity work is an inspiration to so many. Diana’s Keep Fit and Carry On DVD can be found here or visit www.keepfitandcarryon.com
See Hapipod.com for more information on Inspired Homeshare exchanging a spare room for an income plus good company or practical help. It is FREE to register, set up a profile and see who’s available. Members only need pay the one-off ID check fee and subscription if and when they see someone of interest.
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