A FORMER postal worker in the British Army diagnosed with an incurable autoimmune disease has turned her life around, and is encouraging others they can do the same.
Gaynor Peart, 48, was diagnosed with a disease called Lupus in 1992 which affects major organs in the body.
This results in symptoms such as inflammation, swelling, lethargy and chronic fatigue and damage to joints, skin, kidneys, blood, heart and lungs.
In 1993 she suffered a mini-stroke which meant she has not been able to work, only until recently.
Three years ago she started taking part in exercise classes and soon realised that her health was improving and she was feeling a lot fitter and happier.
As a result in September 2012 she enrolled on a CYQ Level 2 exercise to music course at Henley In Arden College.
She now runs her own exercise classes.
The Batchley resident and mum of one said: "As far as exercise and fitness was concerned, I had always told myself that there's no way I could do it as my Lupus wouldn't possibly allow me to, and that it would make me ill, which actually I now know was just an excuse.
"After joining a local Zumba class I was instantly hooked so started doing more and quite quickly noticed an improvement in my general well being and health. I then started thinking about returning to work and the only thing I could think that I wanted to do was fitness.
"I had to study and pass anatomy and physiology sections first then spent about six months learning and perfecting the exercise to music. None of it was that easy but in June last year I passed the course and became a qualified exercise to music instructor."
Ms Peart, who also used to care for adults with learning difficulties before being diagnosed, is now working for Redditch and Bromsgrove Sports Development instructing more than 60 mobility classes and running two of her own.
She said: "My company name is Get Fit With Gaynor and I have two aerobic/body conditioning classes each week in Redditch.
"The first is at Woodrow Community Rooms every Tuesday 6.30pm to 7.30pm and the second at St. Benedicts Social Centre, Batchley, every Thursday morning 9.30am to 10.30am. Both classes are charged at £1.50 for the first time then £3 thereafter."
She added: "I absolutely love what I do and couldn't imagine my life now without keeping fit and exercising.
"Not only has it improved my health it has also enabled me to meet lots of different people and make many new friends, something which I missed out on when not working.
"I am passionate about letting people know who think they can't take part in exercise for whatever reason that they can.
"If I can do it anyone can."
For information about the classes, visit facebook.com/getfitwithgaynor.