Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, Cllr Paulette Hamilton, continues her quest to be more active by joining a FREE Tai Chi session in Cotteridge Park.
Since becoming Cabinet member for Health and Social Care in May, I’ve been keen to promote the benefits of exercise and generally leading an active life.
As I said in an earlier blog, we need to get more Brummies moving. Exercise can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer by up to 50 per cent. It can lower your risk of early death by up to 30 per cent, while research shows that physical activity can also boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress, depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Now anyone who knows me will tell you that I hate it when people take a ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ approach to life.
So I’ve taken up walking and recently took part in my first ever Tai Chi session – thanks to Birmingham’s fantastic Active Parks initiative.
I was joined by people of all ages for the session in Cotteridge Park, which was great fun and, as you can see from the video, was very well attended.
It was one of many FREE Tai Chi sessions on offer in our parks and I have no doubt that the participants are really benefiting from this very gentle exercise.
Studies have shown that Tai Chi can help reduce stress, improve balance and general mobility, and increase muscle strength in the legs. This means it can play a part in falls prevention for older people. There is also some evidence that Tai Chi can improve mobility in the ankle, hip and knee in people with rheumatoid arthritis (RH).
In addition to all these physical benefits, the session I attended brought people together and this sort of regular interaction can certainly boost people’s mental wellbeing.
Of course Tai Chi might not be your thing. But there are plenty of alternatives out there and what matters is that more of us lead physically active lives.
To find a FREE Tai Chi session (or other activities) in a park near you, go to: http://www.parklives.com/activities?CouncilId=2&postcode=&SelectedActivityIds=33&SelectedDate=09%2F08%2F2015
Now I’ve ticked Tai Chi off my ‘to-do list’ I’m switching my attentions to Zumba, so watch this space.