Right. Get off the sofa. Grab some trainers. We're going jogging. Yes, I mean you! No come on, follow me. I'll be your coach this weekend, and be gentle. I promise, a jog in Cannon Hill Park, meandering parkland that straddles the Birmingham suburbs of Selly park, Moseley and Edgbaston, is perfect to wet your whistle and go for a jog. Beginners welcome, it's a pretty relaxed place. If I can do it so can you.
Cannon Hill Park, Midlands Art Centre (MAC) entrance
Cannon Hill Park is approx 3 miles of park, almost zoned into lake, boating lake, grassland, crazy golf, cricket pitch, river Rea pathway and woodland. It opened to the public in 1873.
First of all getting there. Yes you can jog, but lets be realistic you might want to drive, (there's a free car park, accessed opposite Edgbaston Cricket ground, postcode B12 9QH), or if not the bus is convenient , (No.1, No. 45 or No.47 all pass by).
And what to wear? There's tarmac paths or grass, so you can choose what you prefer. You might find the grass offers more impact for your knees, but in wet weather avoid a quagmire and jog on the paths, but note be aware of the cycle paths clearly drawn onto the tarmac on some of the paths as its a busy commuter route. Depending on your stamina, and how much you want to push yourself, Cannon Hill Park has opportunities for jogging on the flat, or uphill. There is one path takes you up a steep hill, towards the Moseley side beside the allotments, and it's probably guaranteed to take your breath away jogging up this. If you're feeling particularly fired then jog up past the cricket pitch and you'll find rugged outdoor exercise equipment nestled among the trees, for example, beams to do pull ups.
Jogging action shot
You can't get lost. Well you can probably can, but following the River Rea or jogging round the lake should keep your bearings if it's the first time here. Or like me jog with someone else, (thanks for pushing me Rita), which also reduces the likelihood of staying in bed and telling yourself, 'I'll jog tomorrow".
It was all a blur. Go go go jogging cam!
Or if you prefer a more structured affair there's a running group that meets at Cannon Hill Park weekly, every Saturday at 8.30am for a 5 kilometre timed run. Perfect for New Year or approaching summer 'baring flesh' summer resolutions to get active. Check out their details here.
The beauty of Cannon Hill Park is that after your jog you can chill in the park or celebrate your efforts with a drink in the Midlands Arts Centre (MAC) cafe. And there's another cafe in the grounds, the Garden Tearoom, near the bandstand.
If I've inspired you to go for a jog at Cannon Hill, have fun. And say hi if you pass me jogging! But if your are in any doubt about your health use your common sense please, chat with your GP. Although thought for the day; are you more likely to die on the sofa? Or through injury jogging?