Why exercise for all is important - and how the council can help

Cllr Paulette Hamilton, cabinet member for health and social care, talks about the importance of keeping healthy, following a visit to the newly-opened Ladywood leisure centre.

Exercising regularly is a way of keeping fit and healthy long-term. It is important for people of all ages to remain fit and healthy for as long as possible.

I want Birmingham to be a healthy city and a great place to live, work and grow old in.

Whether going for a walk, a swim, a run, or taking stairs instead of the lift, it is important to build some activity into your day.

Going to a leisure centre can help with this. When visiting Ladywood leisure centre it was truly impressive to see the modern facilities there. It’s so important for the residents of Birmingham to look at what the city council offers in our leisure service.

Council facilities offer great value for money, with discounts via Passport to Leisure, and free gym and swim for those eligible for the Be Active scheme.

And importantly, it allows people to take part in fun activities, around other people; they will feel part of the community and it can really combat loneliness which can affect too many people, especially the older generation.

The new centre in Ladywood is a great example of this - a brand new £8.5m facility, funded by Birmingham City Council and Sport England and managed by Birmingham Community Leisure Trust (BCLT), which now runs nine of our wellbeing centres across the city.

BCLT now has 17,700 people exercising with a gym membership, compared to 6,500 in 2015 when they started running some of our facilities. Over 500 people have been enrolled into the Health Life exercise referral programme, and 10,500 children are taught how to swim each week, giving them an important life skill.

I’d encourage everyone to check out their local leisure facilities to see what is on offer – there really is something for everyone, including access for those with limited mobility or who are disabled.

As we countdown to the Commonwealth Games, facilities like Ladywood leisure centre show our commitment to grassroots sporting facilities in Birmingham. It is why I’m asking local residents to come along with us on our journey.

This blog was posted on 15 August 2019

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