Higher Tone

Variety is the spice of life and the fuel for fitness


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Get fit in Roath Park

Roath Park in Cardiff is the ideal setting to kick-start your January fitness regime and keep you motivated all year long. This popular park retains its classic Victorian charm and attracts runners and fitness enthusiasts from all over Cardiff. The vast playing fields, pleasure gardens and stunning 2.1km running track around Roath Lake makes this park the perfect setting for outdoor based exercise classes. The Terra Nova Cafe and Penylan Community Centre also provide leisure facilities for indoor classes, especially during the winter months. I will endeavour to introduce you to a number of different and unique classes based in Roath Park which were highly recommended to me from a variety of people committed to fitness in Cardiff.


roath park

Roath Park is an idyllic setting for an exercise class or jog.

  

Outdoor Fitness Ltd

When: Monday and Wednesday at 18:15, Friday at 18: 15 for high intensity threshold training.

Where: Roath Rec playing fields, meet at the Penylan Library and Community Centre.

This challenging outdoor fitness programme combines cross-training with military training techniques and endurance work.  Every class is different, but the aim is to provide a general level of fitness which could be applied to any sport.  The ability groups are not split up, instead everyone works together so you could have an unfit 40-year-old training next to a young athlete.  The instructor will demand different numbers of repetitions from people depending on whether they have a basic, intermediate, advanced or elite level of fitness and experience.  Expect sprint intervals, military style burpees, planks, press-ups and rolling around in the dark and mud.

“This class will push you to your absolute limit and beyond.” – Catherine Morgan

Outdoor Fitness held their first classes in Roath Park in 2008 and since then the sessions have grown in popularity and expanded to other parks in Cardiff including Pontcanna playing fields, Ynysangharad Park in Pontypridd and Morgan Jones  Park in Caerphilly.  The community has grown to more than 100 members and there are a number of affiliated running clubs and triathlon cycling and swimming groups.  The high intensity threshold training (HITT) session is based on the Tabata method of short, maximum intensity exercise bursts with a short recovery period.  This workout will hit your anaerobic threshold hard and provide effective cardiovascular training.  A typical class will only last between 10 to 20 minutes, but it will be some of the hardest minutes of your life.

“Outdoor fitness classes are designed to build self-esteem, confidence and also add a social aspect to your workout.  Our ethos is to have fun whilst getting fit.” – Jeff Webb Managing Director of Outdoor Fitness

Exercising outdoors adds variety and energy to your workout and it has been proved to boost levels of endorphins and serotonin during and after exercise.  It can be extremely invigorating and place you in an almost euphoric state.  The Roath Park Outdoor Fitness classes attract a high standard of people, but the instructors make sure to cater for all fitness ability levels and the first class is free.

Fit 4 Two and Buggy Fit 

When: Monday and Friday at 10:00 for Buggyfit, Saturday 9:30 for Fit Chicks Bootcamp

Where: Meet at the children’s play area by Roath Park Lake

Website: http://www.fit4two.org.uk/index.html

buggy fit

A buggyfit class in action next to Roath Park Lake

“I don’t know why anyone would want to train inside.  Roath Park is the perfect location.” – Clare Wheeler, Founder of Fit 4 Two

The Buggy Fit class is a total body workout, combining cardio with resistance band exercises, core training and a specific focus on pelvic floor muscles.  It is ideal for new mothers who want to get back into shape and still spend time with their child as the babies are brought along for the ride.  The Saturday morning bootcamp is a more challenging session which includes boxing, kettlebells and lots of abs work.  Roath Park is the ideal setting because the gradient is varied and there are a number of little hills and benches for stretching.  There are so many different routes in the surrounding area, so you could never get bored.

These classes are designed for women who want to focus on their fitness before, during and especially after pregnancy.  Fit 4 Two has been incredibly popular, with the average attendance at 15 to 25 per class, sometimes reaching as high as 35.    New mothers are encouraged to wait at least 6 weeks after a normal delivery and 10-12 weeks after a Caesarean section before they start to exercise, but this completely depends on the individual.  It is best to build your fitness level back up slowly and steadily after giving birth and not rush into a demanding routine.

“I am passionate about helping new mums get back into shape and encouraging them to feel better about themselves.” – Clare Wheeler

Bootcamp Pilates

When: Everyday except Sunday, see timetable:

http://balance-fitness.weebly.com/timetable.html

Where: Terra Nova Cafe next to Roath Park Lake

Balance1

The Terra Nova Cafe is a beautiful venue for a pilates bootcamp class

This unique class combines tough kettlebells strength and endurance training with the flexibility and toning elements of Pilates.  The founder of Balance Fitness, Michael Jones, describes the session as combining the Eastern and Western principles in a mind and body pursuit.  The high number of repetitions associated with kettlebells training really improves endurance and cardiovascular fitness levels.  Michael Jones decided to integrate kettlebells with pilates to combine two different ideologies and demonstrate how different disciplines can compliment eachother.

“My classes are designed to help people workout more intelligently” – Michael Jones

The Terra Nova Cafe is an idyllic and tranquil setting for an exercise class with a beautiful view over Roath Park Lake.  The bootcamp class was brought to a close with a number of toning and balancing Pilates moves, designed to test core strength and flexibility.  Michael Jones is looking to add more of a social and community element to the classes both at the Terra Nova Cafe and The Discovery Pub as group classes can have a real sense of camaraderie.  He has 12 years of experience in personal training and fitness instruction in Cardiff and was incredibly helpful with technique throughout the session.

The Terra Nova Cafe is also home to a Yoga for wellbeing class.

Nordic Walking 

When: Everyday except Sunday, see timetable:

http://balance-fitness.weebly.com/timetable.html

Where: Meet at the Terra Nova Cafe in Roath Park or St Isans Road
roath
Nordic walking is a form of high-intesnity walking with specially designed poles.  The concept and technique were developed as a form of off-season ski-training activity.  This sport really helps to build upper body strength and improve endurance and cardiovascular fitness. Balance Fitness offers a number of Nordic walking classes and founder Michael Jones is hoping to build more of a community and social feel around the activity.

“Nordic walking is such a great group sport. I’m really trying to build a community around the classes in Roath Park.” – Michael Jones

Penylan Library and Community Centre

This community centre can be found at the end of the Roath Rec playing field and it offers classes ranging from Zumba to spinning.  A full list of all the exercise classes can be found here:

http://apps2.cardiff.gov.uk/leisureactivities/new_brochure_online.php?lang=ENG&brochure_id=75

Fancy a run?

Roath Park is the perfect location for a 5km run as the terrain is fairly flat and there is a track around the playing fields, through the gardens and around Roath Park Lake.  The route is fairly popular and you will have the chance to take in some stunning scenery.

Here is a map of a suggested route:



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Booty Camp Cardiff

Booty Camp has exploded onto the Cardiff fitness scene, attracting over 100 female members all looking to get in shape and have fun at the same time.  The group exercise classes aim to encourage women of all ages and fitness levels to commit to a healthier lifestyle.

booty camp cardiff

Instructor Abbie Skene (bottom left) and booty campers

Founder of Cardiff’s first female only fitness boot camp and personal trainer, Mark Tregilgas, shares his passion for more inclusive and motivational exercise.

“We wanted to create a place where all women could exercise comfortably in a completely non-intimidating environment. At Booty Camp we want you to be who you want to be and not worry about being judged.”

“Our target group is mainly women in their early 30s, often mothers with a few young children.  The ages range from around 28 to 40 and there is a vast range of fitness levels.”

 

 

Mark is an experienced gym and spin instructor with a diploma in personal training and a level 3 qualification in advanced personal training.  He is an inspirational example of the importance of dedication to fitness as he struggled with his weight as a youngster but is now committed to exercise and healthy nutrition.

 

booty

Instructors Mark Tregilgas and Abbie Skene

What to expect from a Booty Camp class:

This class couldn’t be further from the traditional Sergeant Major style boot camp hell I’ve experienced in the past.  We were encouraged to take the range of bodyweight exercises and high intensity intervals at our own pace as there was a diverse range of fitness levels within the group.  I decided to start with the beginners class, which combines some tough tabata routines with a mixture of toning exercises.  It was a gentle and relaxed introduction to the Booty Camp classes and I would be keen to try some of the intermediate and advanced sessions.

Date and time: Thursday 630pm – 7.15pm

Venue: Poletwisters, Eastmoors Road Industrial Estate.

Instructor: Abbie Skene

1)   Atmosphere and Fun: 7.5/10

Abbie immediately made the group feel at ease and we were guided and motivated through a mixture of resistance moves, cardio interval training and core exercises.

2)   Sweat and Pain: 7/10

The jumping jacks, side lunge jumps and mountain climbers were alternated with squats, lunges and planks, so there was a mixture of sweaty aerobic exercise and painful toning moves.

3)   Calorie Burn

I’d estimate about 250-300 calories per class, but this completely depends on your weight and fitness level.

4)   Toning Potential: 9/10

This class is a must for anyone looking to tighten and tone.  I really noticed my core working during the planks, side-planks and fully extended sit-ups.

5)   Morning After Muscle Ache: 8.5/10

The extremely high number of squats performed at the beginning on the class meant everyday movements such as walking and climbing stairs were very painful the next day.  Squats, named the “King of all exercises” by Abbie clearly have a dramatic effect.  The technical term for this type of muscle ache is DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) and the best prevention is keeping active and not sitting still.

Highlight of the class:

The high intensity interval training (Tabata) was by far the most challenging part, as we alternated 30 seconds of side lunge jumps with a 30 seconds plank.  The combination worked several different muscle groups at once and caused my heart rate to increase significantly.

The ladies attended the class for a number of reasons including impending marriages and recent births and there was a great sense of camaraderie within the group.

booty 3

Beginners class at Poletwisters

Here is a list of the Booty Camp classes:

Beginners Classes

Tuesday + Thursday 630pm – 7.15pm at Poletwisters, Eastmoors Road Industrial Estate.

Regular Classes

Monday – Vitality, Red Dragon Centre, Cardiff Bay 7pm – 8pm
Tuesday – Cardiff Athletic Stadium, Lecwith Road. 7.30-8.30pm
Wednesday – Dragon Cross-FIT, Curran Road. 7.30pm – 8.30pm
Thursday – Llandaff Fields, Bottom of Cathedral Road 9.15am – 10.15am
Thursday – Universal Fitness, Ocean Way. 7.30 – 8.30pm
Saturday – Llandaff Fields, Bottom of Cathedral Rd. 10am – 11am

Ninja classes (advanced)

Friday – Dragon Cross-FIT, Curran Road. 6pm – 7pm & 7pm – 8pm

Online Group Detox: Gimme the Skinny

Cardiff Booty Camp’s New Year Cleanse: ‘Gimme the Skinny’ commences on the 14th of January.  This involves 28 days of post festive detoxification, health, fitness and fat loss from Mark and Abbie.

To find out more and sign up, visit the facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/bootycampcardiff?fref=ts

The weigh in for the detox will be on Sunday the 13th of January at the Holiday Inn situated in Cardiff City Centre.

“Trust in the programme”- Mark Tregilgasgimmie the skinny

Nutrition is the key factor to sustaining a successful fitness regime.  There are hundreds of fad diets, but unfortunately there is no quick fix.  In order to change your body shape and really notice a difference, you must commit to a balanced diet and an active exercise regime.

“You can’t out train poor nutrition” Mark Tregilgas

10 rules for optimum energy and fat loss

These are the key rules which helped Mark to change his shape:

1) Keep hydrated with bottled or filtered water

2) Bin the sugary cereal

This will give you an instant sugar high and the excess sugar will be stored as fat.

3) Do not fear fat

Avocados, nuts, coconut oil and olive oil are great sources of good fat and essential for energy and healthy living.

4) Eat plenty of protein

5) Let vegetables become your best friend

6) Eliminate stress and get your sleep

7) Eat within an hour of your workout

Immediately after your workout your body is at it’s most receptive to absorb vital nutrients in order to start the repair process.

8) Do not calorie count

Concentrate on eating more protein rather than a smaller amount of sugary foods.

9) Understand that booze

Alcohol is simply sugar and it de-hydrates you.

10) In a nutshell eat as much fish, meat, eggs, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruit as you like. Cook in coconut oil, drizzle your veg/salads in olive oil, wash it down with bottled water and you will begin to feel and look great.


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RESULTS: BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year

WINNER: JADE JONES 

Won Britain’s first Taekwondo gold medal

Jade Jones

The 19-year-old really put Wales on the map when she kicked ass in the 2012 Olympics, beating Yuzhuo Hou 6-4 to take the women’s 57kg title in Taewkondo.

Her courageous win was Great Britain’s first Olympic gold in the sport.  Born in Bodelwyddan, Denbighshire, Jones managed to give us one of the most iconic moments in this year’s Olympics.

“I’ve already started thinking about defending my title in Rio de Janeiro [at the 2016 Olympics]. I’m not competing again until next year and my coach has given me until January to be a normal person.”

Jade Jones

2nd Place: Dan Lydiate

Dan Lydiate

The Newport Gwent Dragons blind-side flanker was also named the Six Nations Player of the Tournament.  This was after featuring in every game except the opener against Ireland and receiving man of the match awards against Scotland and France.  

“To be part of such a talented Wales team and win the Grand Slam in Cardiff was incredible in itself but to then be voted player of the championship [was] absolutely unbelievable.”

3rd Place: Geraint Thomas

Geraint Thomas

Cyclist Geraint Thomas became one of only four Welshman to win multiple Olympic gold medals when Great Britain’s team pursuit quartet smashed the world record at the 2012 Olympics in London.

“It was a lot of sacrifice, I missed a lot on the road and put all my eggs in one basket… the Olympics was everything.”

Lifetime Achievement Award: Lynn Davies 

Lynn Davies

‘Lynn the leap’ won the Olympic gold medal for long jump in 1964 with an impressive leap of 8.07m.  He also competed in the 100m and 4×100 relay.

He became the first man to win two long jump titles at the Commonwealth Games in 1966 and 1970.

Daves was also a two-time winner of the BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year award in 1964 and 1966.

Team of the year: Welsh Rugby Team

wales-rugby_2151012b

Winners of the male and female Carwyn James Award (Junior Sportsman and Sportswoman)

Ieuan Lloyd: He competed at the 2012 Olympics in the Men’s 200m freestyle event.

Leuan Lloyd

Elinor Barker: won a silver medal in the junior women’s time trial at the 2011 UCI Road World Championships in Copenhagen.  She was promoted to the Great Britain senior squad for the Glasgow round of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup series

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS - JUNIOR WOMEN TT

Unsung Hero Award: Arthur Wood

Long-term volunteer at the Swansea Rifle Club has been honoured with this grassroots award.

arthur


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BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year 2012

2012 has been hailed as one of the most memorable years in the history of sport for the UK.  How will Wales decide their most deserving winner with a list full of successful Olympians, Paralympians and even an Ironman winner?

Venue: Cardiff Millennium Stadium

Date: Tonight: Monday 10 December 2012

Coverage: Awards live on BBC Radio Wales from 7:30, live reports on Radio Cymru and this blog

chaz-davies-wales-sports-personality

Chaz Davies won BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year in 2011

Contenders:

1) Gareth Bale: Footballer

  • baleBorn: 16 July 1989 in Cardiff
  • Became youngest Wales international as a substitute against Trinidad and Tobago in June, 2006
  • Named 2009 Wales Footballer of the Year
  • Voted 2010 BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year
  • Named 2010-11 PFA Player of the Year

2) Leanda Cave: Ironman Winner

  • Leanda-Cave_300134kBorn: 9 March 1978 in Louth, Lincolnshire. Her mother is Welsh
  • Won triathlon silver for Wales at the 2002 Commonwealth Games
  • 2002 World Triathlon champion
  • Finished third in the 2011 Ironman World Championship
  • Wins both the Ironman and Half-Ironman World Championships in 2012

3) Nathan Cleverly: Boxer

  • Nathan Cleverly v Shawn Hawk WBO Light-Heavyweight TitleBorn: 17 February 1987 in Caerphilly
  • Makes professional debut in July 2007 with four-round victory over Ernie Smith
  • Wins interim WBO light-heavyweight title against Nadjib Mohammedi in 2010
  • Awarded full WBO light-heavyweight belt and makes first defence against Aleksy Kuziemski in 2011

4) Mark Colbourne: Cyclist

  • Mark ColbourneBorn: 9 November 1969 in Tredegar, Blaenau Gwent
  • Wins C1 Time Trial silver at 2011 Road World Championships in Roskilde, Denmark
  • Takes C1 3km Pursuit gold and C1 1km Time Trial silver at Para-Cycling Track World Championships in Los Angeles, USA
  • Enjoys a stellar 2012 Paralympics, winning track C1 3km Individual Pursuit gold, track C1-3 1km Time Trial silver and road C1 Time Trial silver

5) Aled Sion Davies: Field Athlete

  • aledBorn: 24 May 1991 in Bridgend
  • Claims double shot put and discus gold at 2010 World Junior Championships
  • In 2011 wins gold and silver in the shot and discus at the World Athletic Championships in New Zealand
  • Breaks F42 shot put world Record in April 2012 with a throw of 14.56m at the CP Grand Prix in Gateshead
  • Wins Paralympic gold in the discus and bronze in the shot put at London 2012

6) Tom James: Rower

  • tom jamesBorn: 11 March 1984 in Cardiff
  • Makes senior GB debut in 2003 and is part of eight that took bronze at World Championships
  • Wins 2007 Boat Race with Cambridge eight, graduates with engineering degree
  • Wins first Olympic gold medal as part of GB coxless four
  • Wins gold at 2011 World Championships
  • Wins second Olympic gold medal as GB coxless four triumph at London 2012

7) Jade Jones: Taekwondo

  • jadeBorn: 21 March 1993 in Bodelwyddan, Denbighshire
  • Wins gold at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010.
  • Claims first senior title by winning -62kg gold at US Open in 2011
  • Takes silver at the 2011 World Championship in South Korea
  • Crowned Olympic champion after winning -57kg category at London 2012

8) Dan Lydiate: Rugby player

  • DanLydiatePTC1SBBorn: 18 December 1987 in Salford, Greater Manchester
  • Wales Under-20 ever-present in 2007 Six Nations
  • Battles back from career-threatening neck injury suffered in October 2007
  • Makes Wales debut off bench in 2009 autumn series against Argentina and first start a week later against Australia
  • Voted 2012 Six Nations player of the series as Wales win Grand Slam

9) Josie Pearson: Rugby and Discus

  • Josie PearsonBorn: 3 January 1986 in Bristol
  • Becomes first woman to play Paralympic wheelchair rugby for Great Britain at Beijing 2008
  • Switches to athletics and finishes fifth in both the T52 100m and 800m at 2011 World Championships
  • Another change of sport reaps rewards at London 2012 with Paralympic gold in the F521 discus

10) Geraint Thomas: Cyclist

  • geraintBorn: 25 May 1986 in Cardiff
  • Wins World Championships in Mallorca in 2007 as part of GB team pursuit
  • Makes Tour de France debut in 2007, becoming first Welshman to ride the Tour for 40 years
  • In 2008 as part of GB team pursuit wins first the World Championships in Manchester before striking Olympic gold in Beijing
  • Wears the white jersey for best young rider over the first seven stages of the 2011 Tour de France
  • Another World Championship and Olympic gold medal double in 2012 as part of GB’s team pursuit

Other awards to be announced:

 1) Team of the Year

2) Junior Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year

3) Lifetime Achievement

4) Unsung Hero

The panel of experts who had the difficult task of selecting the shortlist in November  were:

Nigel Walker, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, David Davies, Non Evans and Jayne Ludlow.


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Is Cardiff due a diet?

Cardiff is facing a health epidemic as more than half the population are obese or overweight and a third of people do no sport or exercise each week, according to research from the Cardiff Health Alliance.

These shocking figures may come as a surprise to some, especially after Cardiff became the first Welsh city to be awarded WHO Healthy City status in 2009.  Nevertheless, these factors contributed to Cardiff scoring badly for health in a PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) Good Growth for Cities report released in November 2012.

burger king

Is Cardiff a healthy city?

The announcement by Welsh Health Minister, Lesley Griffiths on December 3 to launch an £82 million support fund shows that cities in Wales are clearly struggling, with Cardiff as a prime example.

A healthy and active lifestyle incorporates a variety of factors, but I will be focusing specifically on:

  • Nutrition and the issue of obesity
  • Exercise and physical activity
  • The impact of alcohol on health and sports performance

Obesity 

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Obesity presents an increasing public health challenge for Cardiff.  The Cardiff Health Alliance reported that 53% of adults in Cardiff are overweight or obese, a statistic expected to dramatically increase unless action is taken.  Obesity can leave people with chronic health problems like type 2 diabetes, cancer and osteoarthritis as well as increasing mortality from heart disease and strokes.  The issue of obesity has been prioritised and Cardiff is trying to tackle the problem by implementing initiatives such as Change for Life and the All Wales Obesity Pathway.

Dr Nadim Haboudi, chair of the National Obesity Forum for Wales, said:

“The problem is huge, massive, worse than England, worse than anywhere in the UK and among the worst in the western world.”

Catherine Evans, the co-ordinator for the Physical Activity Network for Wales highlighted community initiatives that are taking place in Cardiff such as fruit and vegetable co-operatives, local cooking classes and the MEND (mind, exercise, nutrition, do it) childhood obesity programme.

Here’s an interview with Catherine Evans in which she discusses the problems caused by obesity and physical inactivity in Cardiff:

Exercise

One in three people in Cardiff take no exercise at all and only 27% actually meet exercise recommendations according to a survey by the Cardiff Health Alliance.  This figure is shocking and does go some way to explaining the high percentage of obesity in Cardiff.

Former Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Jewell, introduced new exercise guidelines in 2011, which advised that all adults should exercise for at least 150 minutes each week rather than 30 minutes on 5 or more days each week.

How much exercise do you think you manage to fit in each week?

There are several exercise initiatives in Cardiff which aim to encourage individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds to become more involved with sport and exercise.  There is a serious issue with health inequality in areas of Cardiff, such as Ely, Splott and Adamsdown.  Programmes such as ‘Communities First’ are essential for improving exercise participation and giving nutritional advice for people in poverty-stricken areas.

Venture Out Cardiff

Picture provided by Venture Out Cardiff

The Venture Out Cardiff programme offers a range of activities such as kayaking, horse riding and sailing for disabled people

The Venture Out project was founded to develop opportunities for disabled people to participate in outdoor exercise in Cardiff.

Jonathan Lee the Venture Out Cardiff Project Officer said:

“We aim to offer weekly activity sessions for disabled people, particularly adults with learning difficulties. Through the sessions we help people develop their confidence, social skills and specific skills related to the activity. We also see huge benefits to their overall fitness and well-being.”

“We use green spaces within the city to deliver most of our activities.  We have found that our outdoor activities help to reduce challenging behaviour and help people to sleep better, so the beneficial effects last beyond the duration of the session.”

Volunteers with learning disabilities also take part in an environmental group to conserve and manage local parks

Volunteers with learning disabilities also take part in an environmental group to conserve and manage local parks

There are a number of other campaigns in Cardiff, including:

The Cardiff Max Active card also helps to promote physical activity as if gives people the chance to take part in a wide range of discounted activities suited to all ages and abilities at leisure centres around Cardiff.

This map shows the locations of all the Cardiff Council leisure centres as well as community sports facilities:

Alcohol

Alcohol and exercise do not mix.  In the short term, drinking alcohol will seriously affect sports performance in terms of poor co-ordination and concentration.  Long term effects of heavy drinking include heart disease, some cancers, liver disease and there are also links to obesity.

A study commissioned by the Welsh Assembly Government has found the NHS in Wales spends over a £1 million a week on treating health problems caused by alcohol misuse and a further £1 million each week on treating obesity.
A graph showing hospital admissions due to alcohol in Cardiff and Wales
graph

Cardiff has a significantly higher hospital admission rate due to alcohol compared to Wales.  These figures were provided by the Cardiff Health Alliance.

This graph shows that Cardiff has a significantly higher hospital admission rate due to alcohol misuse than the average for Wales.  The Cardiff Health Alliance reported  2024 male hospital admissions in Cardiff, this is much higher than the average value for Wales which is 1140.

Following Alcohol Awareness Week which ended on November 23, Alcohol Concern Cymru has launched a Dry January campaign to encourage people to stop drinking for a month.

Here is an interview with Andrew Misell from Alcohol Concern Cymru about the relationship between sport and alcohol and the Dry January campaign.

Find out more about the Dry January campaign on the Alcohol Concern website:

http://www.alcoholconcern.org.uk/projects/alcohol-concern-cymru

Does Cardiff deserve the title of a WHO (World Health Organisation) healthy city?

Cardiff was granted this accolade in 2009 joining 13 other cities in the UK.  Since then it has sought to advance the public health agenda through nutrition and physical activity initiatives and promoting healthy urban design, but has it worked?

bute

Two ramblers in Bute Park, one of Cardiff’s ‘green lungs’.

Councillor Luke Holland, Cabinet Member for Social Care, Health and Wellbeing discusses key aspects of the WHO Cardiff Healthy City Programme.

This video explains the Cardiff Healthy City Model and the complex issues which affect people’s health and wellbeing.

Screen shot 2012-12-06 at 21.09.24

 

If you have been inspired to make a change relating to exercise, nutrition, alcohol or health this December, then please post your pledge as a comment below.

My Health Pledge: To try a different exercise class every week for the next 2 months.

What’s Yours?


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Should pole dancing be an Olympic sport?

Pole dancing has long been dismissed as a form of provocative, sexy entertainment with no place outside seedy strip clubs.  Groups of determined enthusiasts are trying to shake this bad reputation and take the sport to a whole new stage: the Olympics.

Watch this video of a training session with Cardiff University Pole Dancing Society to see just how hard and impressive the sport really is.

Lauren Sweeney, President of Cardiff University Pole dance society said: “There are serious steps being taken to have pole dancing recognised as an Olympic sport.”

“We are really careful within the society to not portray ourselves as anything other than a large group of people partaking in a sport and a group exercise.  In the broader pole community there are measures being taken to reduce the stigma.”

Pole dancing lessons with Cardiff University are run in blocks of 5 week classes, giving individuals the opportunity to really improve their strength, flexibility, co-ordination, confidence and self-esteem.

In addition to the pole classes, the society also offers a number of free fitness classes to compliment pole dancing.

The International Pole Sport Federation is one of the leading forces behind the Olympic effort.  The organisation’s president, Tim Trautman, says the main obstacle to people treating pole dancing as a legitimate sport is the enduring stereotype that it is something only erotic dancers do.  He said: “We want people to see that they are watching athletes.”

A petition circulated by an association of pole-fitness competitors to get pole dancing included in the Olympic Games was rejected by the International Olympic Committee.  Undaunted, supporters are making another push for 2016.

 

Watch this video from the 2012 International Pole Dancing Championship: