Wednesday, March 18, 2009
FITNESS AND HEALTH FOR THE OVER 50's
My 2009 New Year Resolution was to find time to improve my fitness and lose some weight. I have succeeded in my first aim, having joined the LA Fitness Club in Kimbolton Road 8 weeks ago. Three times a week I go to Aquacise Classes or the gym. I much prefer the Aquacise and share it with 12-14 other women of varying ages.
Also I now walk regularly between Council activities. On Thursday morning I will to to Harrold Country Park for one of 4 Health Walks organised by Bedfordshire County Council to improve people's health and enjoyment of green spaces. Research has shown that regular walking improves physical health and reduces the risk of heart disease, high blood pressures, strokes and depression.
Bedford Borough Council have just launched a series of activity classes for the Over 50's so there is no excuse for 'couch potatoes' not to drag themselves away from the TV and computer to learn line dancing, badminton, golf, swim or just go walking.
Physical exercise was never popular with me as a child. I was musical and an avid reader and was put off sport by the sporting enthusiasms of my sporty father and my 2brothers. I am a mental athlete but do not really enjoy physical exercise, although I am enjoying the Aquacise classes and healthy walks. Losing weight is a harder challenge as I love my food. In 2006 I succeeded in losing 2 stone, raising £800 for the British Heart Foundation but it is hard to keep it off long term.
Today I was saddened to see the prematurely aged face of Sean Hodgson, aged 57 years, who has just been released from prison after serving 27 years for a rape and murder he did not commit. His prison sentence lasted longer because he has always protested his innocence. We should all be grateful for our liberty and the freedom to stay healthy and enjoy the countryside as we grow older.
Tonight I will fulfil one of my last official functions as Vice Chairman of Bedfordshire County Council by attending the Kempston Schools Performing Arts Evening at the Addison Centre, raising funds for the Kempston Mayor's Charities.
As the 2008 Bedford Youth Champion and a former County Cabinet Member for Culture I am happy to support a charity function involving school children and the performing arts. My daughter Helen used to perform with the Wilstead Players and went on to gain a Stage Management degree at the Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff. Later she worked at the Gateway Theatre, Chester as a sound and lighting technician before moving into the conference industry.