Debbie Harris from Deb’s World is one of my closest blogging friends. A fellow Aussie, we live in different States but in January we were fortunate enough to meet in real life and it was like meeting someone I had know all my life.
The one thing I admire about Deb is her sense of adventure, spontaneity and giving things a go. Ok, that is three things but anyway, when I asked Deb what keeps her Active After 50 she didn’t disappoint with her answer.
ChiBall & Keeping Active After 50
Thanks to Sue for the invitation to write a guest post for #ActiveApril.
In some ways I feel I’m not qualified to write this because I’ve just had one of the laziest weekends in history! It’s turned wet, cold and miserable and it’s actually snowing nearby – yes this is Australia in Autumn! And I’ve succumbed to staying indoors with a blanket over my knees with a cup of tea and a good book.
But then again, I’ve listened to my body, I felt tired and needed a rest, so I settled in with a good book and did just that, I rested.
I’m getting better at listening to my body as I age.
Normally I’m quite active, rarely sitting still for too long, I love walking in the forest every day, I enjoy riding my bike when the mood takes me, I join in with activities like fun runs, ParkRuns, Run Melbourne, Mother’s Day Classic and in summer I enjoy Aqua Aerobics (AA) sessions.
Just last week some friends suggested a night away to Myrtleford, a town in Victoria, on the Murray to the Mountains Rail Trail as a spontaneous getaway. We packed the cars, the bikes and some food and off we went. We did an easy 10kms around Myrtleford upon arrival, and the autumn afternoon light and sunset was magnificent. The next day we cycled into Bright and returned to Myrtleford which was approx. 60km and loved every minute of it. The joy of being in the fresh crisp air, seeing the sights along the way such as fields of sunflowers, chatting to other riders when we stopped for a break, using muscles and feeling alive – there’s nothing better!
I love taking adventurous holidays where my husband and I go bike riding on a Bike and Barge tour in France, or Amsterdam or Croatia. We enjoy visiting other areas of Australia, where we can ride our bikes on Rail Trails or bike paths taking in the sights in a gentle but active way – rather than seeing it from the car as we drive by. We’ve walked in the Himalayas in Nepal, and in the jungles of Papua New Guinea along the Kokoda Track. Until our daughter’s wedding in Fiji in 2017, we’d never been on a holiday where you just sit by the pool in a resort or on the beach relaxing – it’s always been a far more active type of holiday. We still managed to go snorkelling, kayaking and swimming!
Since the pool in town has closed for the season, and AA is done and dusted for a while, I am turning to the gentle art of Chiball, which is offered weekly at my local gym. I was first introduced to Chiball a few years ago and have only just become reacquainted with it on a more regular basis.
Chiball isn’t all that well known, so I asked Carmen, who runs the classes (and the gym) some questions in order to get the explanations right. Here are my questions and Carmen’s responses. Thanks to Carmen for answering my questions.
How would you explain Chiball?
Chiball is a one-hour class that includes Thai chi, dance, yoga, Pilates and relaxation to music with the use of a ball.
What are the benefits of chi ball
Chiball increases flexibility and strength, improves cardiovascular health, releases endorphins with in turn reduces stress, and low mood states, improves sleep and plenty more.
What are some of the moves called?
Each season has a different set of moves based on the meridian and organs we are wishing to focus on so some of the current moves are “sunset/sunrise” “breeze” “butterfly” “circle the moon/sun” “mistral” “open the door”.
What do the colour and scents on the balls mean?
Aromatherapy, Colour Therapy and Chinese medicine are a heavy basis on the class. Each Chiball is tied to an energy phase from the yin yang energy cycle and represents one of the five elements – Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. Each of the elements has yin and yang associations and each of the ten ChiBalls represent the yin or yang of each of the five elements.
Autumn is about lungs what are the other seasons involved?
Autumn is the lungs and large intestines, and the linked emotion is grief.
Liver and Gall Bladder in Spring, Bladder and Kidneys in Winter. We actually have 5 seasons – we also have High Summer unlike the 4 seasons we are used to.
Where did chi ball originate?
ChiBall was founded in Australia in 1997 and being taught worldwide, since 1998.
Is there anything else you’d like to say about Chi Ball?
Chiball is suitable for elderly or immobile people with the “Gentle Moves” classes and can even be done in a chair. There are also other classes such as “Fire Moves” “Dance of the Dragon” which is very intense and can be quite advanced. A fabulous mix of exercises really beneficial for the whole body.
Have you heard of or tried ChiBall? What do you to keep active and feel alive?
Debbie is an award winning Australian midlife, travel, adventure and lifestyle blogger who has a smile named after her – the ‘Debbie Smile’.
A young retiree, after being made redundant from her 22 year career of managing educational programs for inmates in a men’s correctional centre, she thought she’d have loads more time for reading, cycling, blogging and travelling, but she’s discovering that life is busier than ever! Whether it’s book club, movie club, volunteering with Rotary and Rotary Youth Exchange programs or simply catching up with friends, life is never dull when Debbie is around!