Birmingham health chief Cllr Paulette Hamilton is has vowed to lead by example in her quest to make Birmingham a more active city.
The Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care joined Council House staff and rush-hour commuters for an impromptu Zumba session in Victoria Square on Wednesday evening.
And she has offered to stage more workplace exercise sessions in a bid to get more Brummies fit and active.
Cllr Hamilton, who was joined by fellow councillors as well as council staff for the 20-minute workout, said: “I’ve been speaking to staff and a lot of people have said that if we’re doing all these free activities in the community, why don’t we do it for staff?
“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.
“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. Now I’ve added Zumba to the list and if I can do it, anyone can.”
The Zumba session was led by staff from Birmingham’s Active Parks scheme and participants from Sport England’s This Girl Can initiative.
For more details of FREE Zumba sessions and a wide range of other physical activities in parks across the city, go to: http://www.parklives.com/activities?councilId=2