Local Women’s Institute feel so lucky to have discovered exercise through resistance bands

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Corn Dollies WI stretch out with resistance bands

A Women’s Institute group feel they are ‘so lucky’ to discover resistance bands and the positive impact they can have, after recreating an exercise routine to Kylie Minogue’s classic song. 

This was just the beginning for the Corn Dollies from Claines in Worcester and has been the springboard for the ladies to use the bands on a regular basis during their daily lives. 

Using Resistance Bands can help to improve or maintain strength, balance and flexibility. Regular exercise helps both physical and mental health and wellbeing too, particularly if you are doing it with other people. 

Mo Wood, the Vice President of the Corn Dollies, started holding resistance bands exercise sessions at the group in September after meeting the Living Well for Longer team.   

Mo Wood, Vice President of the Corn Dollies branch of the Women’s Institute said: 

“I want to keep living well as I grow older and I can see that keeping moving does make a difference. So I decided that our WI ladies would benefit from doing something in a non-threatening environment. Something they could take away and continue doing at home while you're watching the television. Have a few stretches and you do feel much better.” 

Resistance bands are strong, elastic bands that can be used to exercise all parts of the body. They are a simple and effective way to exercise.  

Doing resistance band exercises regularly can help to: 
•    build and maintain muscle strength  
•    improve strength and posture 
•    increase mobility 
•    help with joint pain. 

Val Powell, who's about to turn 85 and has been described as the Jane Fonda of Claines said
“They are very easy to use. You can use them sitting, standing, watching the TV, even lying on your bed. Any movement you can do stretching your muscles is good for you.”

People over 50 lose around 1% muscle mass or more each year without regular exercise. Year on year that adds up.  

Lisa McNally, Director of Public Health in Worcestershire, said:  
“Resistance exercise or strength exercise is really important. When we think of getting fit and exercising, we automatically think of running or cycling, and that stuff is important. But, especially as we get older, over 50, we have to also think about our strength and using resistance bands is a great way to do that. Just ten minutes a day, to build up the strength in our arms, our legs and also our balance.” 

Mo Wood, went on to say:  
"They love it. I've got to say, I was very impressed with them. We did a wonderful dance routine to Kylie Minogue's ‘I Should Be So Lucky’. I am very lucky to be part of this group of ladies who join together. And I hope that when they go home, they share it with their husbands and their partners. Life's got to be better for all of us if we're flexible.” 

Councillor Karen May, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, at Worcestershire County Council said: 
“Since our Living Well for Longer programme began in 2020, the team have given out over 40,000 resistance bands and trained over 43 organisations to run exercise sessions. I’m incredibly proud of what the team have achieved and its great to see the Corn Dollies put all these exercises in action.”

If you are over 50 years old, you can pick up a free resistance band and exercise booklet from any Worcestershire library.  

To find out more about resistance band exercises and track your progress online go to the Resistance Bands pages of the County Council website.

For further information take a look at the Living Well for Longer pages of the County Council website or email livingwell@worcestershire.gov.uk. 

Recently Gavin Kermack from the BBC joined Lisa McNally, our director of Public Health at one of the meetings to see how the ladies were getting on. Listen to the interview below: