SUPER-FIT pensioner Rita Spence is living proof that age is no barrier to keeping in shape.
At 90 years young, a sprightly Mrs Spence can be found working out twice a week on exercise machines at Springs Health Club in Crossgate, South Shields.
Not one content to see the grass grow under her feet, problems with arthritis persuaded the lively OAP to climb on the treadmill and step her way to a healthier life.
Mrs Spence, who played golf regularly until she was 80, said: "It's far too easy to just sit around.
"When I developed arthritis in my ankles 10 years ago, I realised I needed to keep in shape and on the move, and started to go to Springs, where I was one of the first people to use the health club.
"I go about twice a week and use the treadmill and other exercise machines at the gym.
"I normally stay for up to two hours, and I find it really improves my arthritis, and helps me maintain my health."
Mrs Spence, who lives in Mariners' Cottages, South Shields, said her late husband, Victor, was keen on all kinds of sports, and she has carried on the family tradition.
The great-grandmother added: "I would advise anyone with problems like arthritis to get themselves on the move.
"Apart from having my gall bladder out in 2005, I have never been in hospital.
"I played at South Shields Golf Club until I was 80, and decided to go to the gym when problems with my ankles prevented me from playing."
A spokesman for Springs Health Club said Mrs Spence was one of the club's first members, adding: "She is a popular figure at the club, where she attends at least a couple of times a week, usually to work out on the treadmill, the toning table and in the ladies' gym.
"She is living proof of our long-held contention that age is no barrier to maintaining fitness and general well-being.
"Indeed, she is one of several mature men and women who regularly attend exercise sessions, either in the gym or the swimming pool. They certainly seem to benefit from them."