A Word In Your Ear - August 7, 2014

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“What are you doing?” demanded a fellow across the road, walking with wife and kids.

I’d been practising among bushes on a shady grass verge by our park.

He looked intrigued but also suspicious, as though I’d been misconducting myself.

“It’s called tai chi,” I shouted back, then added, “some Chinese exercise.”

The man nodded, but looked doubtful as he shepherded his family onward.

“Well,” I muttered, now walking on myself, “can’t even do that in peace – damn cheek!”

Two girls jogging by gave me another funny look, for talking to myself.

Mustering dignity, I strode on with good posture and felt better for the graceful exercise in fresh air.

As you might guess, it was my resident health adviser at Edmonds Towers who got me into tai chi. She Who Knows had spotted a poster for classes outside a church hall.

In the past I’ve tried gyms (boring), health clubs (expensive) and jogging (knackers your joints).

I also used to do vigorous exercises in the bedroom... steady on, I mean press-ups, sit-ups and scissor jumps. However, plaster started dropping from the lounge ceiling below.

She Who Knows has tried it all, too, when it comes to fitness. Pilates sounded like hard work and yoga can be time-consuming.

Ideally, we both enjoy sport. Somehow you don’t notice the effort as much when chasing a ball or competing with others. But often the weather interferes, and you need other forms of exercise.

Hence the tai chi, or Chinese shadow boxing. It can be done by all ages anywhere any time, says our DVD, which shows pundits working out by misty lakes. But not by a Blackpool park, it seems.

Eventually, it improves the whole body as well as your well-being, while, like me, remaining gentle and slow.

What’s more, it doesn’t bring the plaster down.

l Relax with Roy’s books, at www.royedmonds-blackpool.com.