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January is Healthy Eating Active Living month in Lake Oswego, and The Review's Barb Randall is jumping right in

PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVE ARPIN - January is Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) month in Lake Oswego, with a wide variety of fitness options available. One of the Parks & Recreation Department's most popular classes is Tai Chi, and there's a free try-it-out day planned for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 10.  Want to shake up your fitness routine? Have you resolved to be more active in 2018?

January is Healthy Eating Activing Living (HEAL) month in Lake Oswego, and the City's Parks & Recreation Department is urging residents of all ages to make healthier choices and adopt habits that focus on making informed food choices and exercising daily.

Whether you've vowed to eat better or exercise more, the January issue of LO Monthly is filled with tons of ideas to help you Rock Your Resolutions! Look for the full-color, 40-page magazine inside the Jan. 4 issue of The Review.    If we follow those two guidelines, Parks & Rec staff say, we can expect to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, reduce risks of chronic disease and improve our overall health — all of which sounds pretty good to me.

And so, as an added nudge to get moving, I'm planning to attend a variety of fitness classes offered by Parks & Rec this month, and I'll share my experiences with you in The Review. My goal is to give you an insider's view on what to expect in the class, the degree of difficulty, any special equipment needed and other specifics that will hopefully inspire and motivate you.

You can read more about the HEAL program in LO Monthly magazine, which is tucked inside this issue of The Review. But please don't rely on turning newspaper and magazine pages for your fitness. Nobody is doing your pushups for you, so get up, get active and Rock Your Resolutions in 2018.

HEAL Week No. 1

What: Tai Chi for Health, Balance and Relaxation

Class time: Wednesdays at 7 p.m. at Palisades (1500 Greentree Road, Lake Oswego)

Special equipment: None. Wear comfortable clothes, tennis shoes or socks.

Some background: Tai Chi is an ancient martial art consisting of 108 movements done in slow motion in a prescribed sequence, with controlled breathing. As an exercise, it develops internal energy or ch'i; as meditation, it reduces stress and improves concentration. And as a martial art, it is the basis of a superior method of self-defense, emphasizing cooperation instead of competition.

Instructor Fred Bruderlin has been a student of martial arts for more than 40 years, and he initiated and managed the Tai Chi program offered by Providence Health Systems.

My impression: As in a dance class, you follow the instructor's lead through the motion sequence. There are specific techniques and placement of hands and feet, so you are concentrating on the movements throughout the class. I had to concentrate on mirroring the movements and positions, but didn't feel intimidated. I found the class to be calming and relaxing.

SUBMITTED PHOTO: MARK RANDALL - The Review's Barb Randall (far left) participated in Fred Bruderlin's Tai Chi for Health, Balance and Relaxation class. She says she had to concentrate on the movements, but was not intimated by the new activity and found Tai Chi to be relaxing and calming.  Class attendees said the hardest part of the class was remembering the sequence of movements, but Bruderlin's skill as an instructor makes the class work for all skill levels. They also commented that concentrating on the movements improved their awareness of their body and of the world around them, even outside of class.

One class attendee said he could just tell when he was doing it right. People are comfortable learning at their own pace, so the class continually challenges them to grow their skills.

Since there is no impact, Tai Chi is perfect for all levels of physical fitness. It is a whole-body exercise that improves balance and coordination and reduces stress, and class participants said they sleep better after practicing Tai Chi. The class is intended for those age 18 and over.

You can try out Bruderlin's Tai Chi for Health, Balance and Relaxation free at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 10. Sign up online at www.loparks.com, where you can also register for these other free sample classes planned for January:

Nia (a combination of dance, martial arts and relaxation techniques designed to help condition the body, mind and spirit while improving flexibility, agility, mobility, stability and strength): 8:45-9:55 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 7, at Lakewood Center for the Arts, 368 S. State St.; for ages 10 and up (Class #16869). Or 5:40-6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 9, at Palisades, 1500 Greentree Road (Class #16864)

Seated Tai Chi: 1-2 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 8, at the Lake Oswego Adult Community

Center, 505 G Ave. (Class #16624)

Beginning Tai Chi: 2:15-3:15 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 8, at the Adult Community Center, 505 G Ave. (Class #16614)

Boomers' Beat (Drum your way to fitness using drumsticks and rhythm to raise your heart rate and improve balance): 6-7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 11, at the Adult Community Center, 505 G Ave. (Class #16619)

Intro to Fencing: 6-7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 12, at the Adult Community Center, 505 G Ave.; for ages 15 and up (Class #17096)

Boomers' Boot Camp (Gain strength and feel energized in a class designed for all levels of fitness): 9-10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 13, at the Adult Community Center, 505 G Ave.; for ages 18 and up (Class #16669)

Line Dancing: 7-8 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 22, at Palisades, 1500 Greentree Road; for ages 18 and up (Class# 16909). Or from 10:45-11:45 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 24, at Palisades (16908)

Mindfulness Meditation class placement session: 5:30-7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 25, at the Adult Community Center, 505 G Ave.; for ages 16 and up (Class# 16863)

Contact Lake Oswego Review reporter Barb Randall at 503-636-1281 ext. 100 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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