Taking time out with Tai Chi in
There are Heart support groups dotted
across the country providing vital support, reassurance and
information to heart patients, their carers and
Lliswerry Heart Link is just one of these
groups, and the great thing about this group is its focus
on mental wellbeing.
Stress busting, mood boosting
Lliswerry Heart Link based in Newport,
Wales offers its members a Tai Chi Qigong
Shibashi group for relaxation and stress relief. It’s not
surprising that these heart patients enjoying coming because being
diagnosed with a heart condition
can be a difficult and daunting experience.
Veronica Lewis, 72, is a keen participant and
remembers why she first started coming: “a heart attack is
a frightening experience – when you first go home, even the beat of
the music panics you. You really think, ‘that’s it’. But I find Tai
Chi relaxing, calming and also motivating.”
There are plenty of other health benefits
Tai Chi benefits:
improves balance and coordination
improves joint mobility
helps you relax
helps you maintain an active mind
helps you to take time to focus on
Tai Chi is for everyone
Greta Hart is a BACPR qualified Tai
Chi instructor who’s been running groups like this one for
over 17 years. She’s a huge fan, of course, and says:
“it’s improved everyone’s sense of self confidence and has
helped them to live and manage their lives feeling much stronger
and more relaxed.” Groups offering Tai Chi she
says, "are especially
accessible to those who may be intimidated by conventional gym and
circuit based classes, but are in need of support
and encouragement to move and exercise."
Young, 66, can’t get enough of the Tai Chi classes – he even
practices with his grandchildren when he’s at his allotment. Mike
runs an allotment in his spare time and says having a hobby is the
key to helping you through your condition. An allotment is a great
hobby: it counts towards his 30 minutes of physical activity a day and from the greens he
grows, he’s able to lead a heart healthy lifestyle too.
After the hour of Tai Chi, the group’s members
stick around for a cool down and a well-earned tea break. It’s
obvious from the smiles and the buzz of the kitchen that
feeling refreshed and relaxed.
As Marina White, heart patient and active
group member says, “It’s not just the Tai Chi that I enjoy,
I love the company, which gets me out of the house. Give it a bash
and you’ll see for yourself!”
Need to talk to someone?
your nearest Heart Support Group and call them up for a
Did you know we have a Heart Helpline too? Call us
on 0300 330 3311.