#ActiveApril Health & Wellness

ChiBall & Keeping Active After 50

April 14, 2019
ChiBall and Keeping Active After 50

Debbie Harris from Deb’s World is one of my closest blogging friends. A fellow Aussie, we live in different States but in January we were fortunate enough to meet in real life and it was like meeting someone I had know all my life.

The one thing I admire about Deb is her sense of adventure, spontaneity and giving things a go. Ok, that is three things but anyway, when I asked Deb what keeps her Active After 50 she didn’t disappoint with her answer.

ChiBall & Keeping Active After 50

Thanks to Sue for the invitation to write a guest post for #ActiveApril.

In some ways I feel I’m not qualified to write this because I’ve just had one of the laziest weekends in history!  It’s turned wet, cold and miserable and it’s actually snowing nearby – yes this is Australia in Autumn!  And I’ve succumbed to staying indoors with a blanket over my knees with a cup of tea and a good book.

But then again, I’ve listened to my body, I felt tired and needed a rest, so I settled in with a good book and did just that, I rested. 

I’m getting better at listening to my body as I age.

Normally I’m quite active, rarely sitting still for too long, I love walking in the forest every day, I enjoy riding my bike when the mood takes me, I join in with activities like fun runs, ParkRuns, Run Melbourne, Mother’s Day Classic and in summer I enjoy Aqua Aerobics (AA) sessions. 

My daughter and I in the Mothers day Classic

Just last week some friends suggested a night away to Myrtleford, a town in Victoria, on the Murray to the Mountains Rail Trail as a spontaneous getaway. We packed the cars, the bikes and some food and off we went.  We did an easy 10kms around Myrtleford upon arrival, and the autumn afternoon light and sunset was magnificent.  The next day we cycled into Bright and returned to Myrtleford which was approx. 60km and loved every minute of it.  The joy of being in the fresh crisp air, seeing the sights along the way such as fields of sunflowers, chatting to other riders when we stopped for a break, using muscles and feeling alive – there’s nothing better!

Me riding the Otago rail Trail in New Zealand

I love taking adventurous holidays where my husband and I go bike riding on a Bike and Barge tour in France, or Amsterdam or Croatia. We enjoy visiting other areas of Australia, where we can ride our bikes on Rail Trails or bike paths taking in the sights in a gentle but active way – rather than seeing it from the car as we drive by. We’ve walked in the Himalayas in Nepal, and in the jungles of Papua New Guinea along the Kokoda Track.  Until our daughter’s wedding in Fiji in 2017, we’d never been on a holiday where you just sit by the pool in a resort or on the beach relaxing – it’s always been a far more active type of holiday.  We still managed to go snorkelling, kayaking and swimming!

Me on top of Australia after hiking to the summit Mt Kosciuszko

Since the pool in town has closed for the season, and AA is done and dusted for a while, I am turning to the gentle art of Chiball, which is offered weekly at my local gym. I was first introduced to Chiball a few years ago and have only just become reacquainted with it on a more regular basis.

Chiball isn’t all that well known, so I asked Carmen, who runs the classes (and the gym) some questions in order to get the explanations right.  Here are my questions and Carmen’s responses. Thanks to Carmen for answering my questions.

Chiball Q&A


How would you explain Chiball?

Chiball is a one-hour class that includes Thai chi, dance, yoga, Pilates and relaxation to music with the use of a ball.

What are the benefits of chi ball

Chiball increases flexibility and strength, improves cardiovascular health, releases endorphins with in turn reduces stress, and low mood states, improves sleep and plenty more.

What are some of the moves called?

Each season has a different set of moves based on the meridian and organs we are wishing to focus on so some of the current moves are “sunset/sunrise” “breeze” “butterfly” “circle the moon/sun” “mistral” “open the door”.

What do the colour and scents on the balls mean?

Aromatherapy, Colour Therapy and Chinese medicine are a heavy basis on the class. Each Chiball is tied to an energy phase from the yin yang energy cycle and represents one of the five elements – Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. Each of the elements has yin and yang associations and each of the ten ChiBalls represent the yin or yang of each of the five elements.

Autumn is about lungs what are the other seasons involved?

Autumn is the lungs and large intestines, and the linked emotion is grief.
Liver and Gall Bladder in Spring, Bladder and Kidneys in Winter. We actually have 5 seasons – we also have High Summer unlike the 4 seasons we are used to.

Where did chi ball originate?

ChiBall was founded in Australia in 1997 and being taught worldwide, since 1998.

Is there anything else you’d like to say about Chi Ball? 

Chiball is suitable for elderly or immobile people with the “Gentle Moves” classes and can even be done in a chair. There are also other classes such as “Fire Moves” “Dance of the Dragon” which is very intense and can be quite advanced. A fabulous mix of exercises really beneficial for the whole body.

Have you heard of or tried ChiBall? What do you to keep active and feel alive?

Meet Debbie

Debbie is an award winning Australian midlife, travel, adventure and lifestyle blogger who has a smile named after her – the ‘Debbie Smile’. 

A young retiree, after being made redundant from her 22 year career of managing educational programs for inmates in a men’s correctional centre, she thought she’d have loads more time for reading, cycling, blogging and travelling, but she’s discovering that life is busier than ever!  Whether it’s book club, movie club, volunteering with Rotary and Rotary Youth Exchange programs or simply catching  up with friends, life is never dull when Debbie is around!

Blog – Deb’s World





Women Living Well After 50

Living Life Your Way


  • Reply Debbie April 14, 2019 at 18:28

    Thanks so much for this Sue, I’m thrilled to be included in Active April. Hopefully this shows others about a different type of exercise and although it sounds gentle it is more active than you think and you feel good after a class.

  • Reply Jennifer April 14, 2019 at 22:45

    Happy to learn even more about you, Deb. That Chiball sounds interesting but I can’t find anything like it in Florida yet.

    • Reply Debbie April 15, 2019 at 08:30

      No I think it’s quite a specialised form of exercise but any of the others like Tai Chi, or pilates would be similar. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • Reply Nancy Dobbins April 15, 2019 at 02:46

    Thanks for featuring Debbie here! She and you are among my blogging favs and models of how this blogging thing should be done.
    And I love reading about how other mid-life women are keeping active and “lovin’ life.”
    Deb, you are so active! I am in awe!

    • Reply Debbie April 15, 2019 at 08:32

      Hi Nancy, what a lovely comment about our blogs, I’m not sure I’ve ever been called a ‘model’ before 🙂 . I’m not active all the time I can assure you but it’s true I enjoy doing things a bit different and trying new activities.

  • Reply Joanne Tracey April 15, 2019 at 08:11

    Thanks for featuring Debbie here – I’ve long been in awe of her activity levels and active holidays. I’d heard of chi ball but had no idea what it was about, so thanks!

    • Reply Debbie April 15, 2019 at 08:34

      Thanks Jo, it’s good to share so0me new information with Sue’s readers. I do enjoy our active lifestyle and as we speak my husband is in PNG walking the Kokoda Track with high school students. it’s his 8th trip and we’ve been helping to train the kids for months to get them fit and ready. It’s definitely not a walk in the park!!

  • Reply Retirement Reflections April 15, 2019 at 08:43

    Hi, Sue and Debbie – I haven’t heard of ChiBall before. I will now take a look to see if I can find a class in my area. It sounds like something that I would love to try. Thank you for introducing it to us!

    • Reply Debbie April 15, 2019 at 09:17

      Hi Donna, it’s not that common outside of Australia from what I understand but I wish you luck in finding something similar. It’s always good to learn about other types of activity isn’t it? Glad you enjoyed my guest post here on Sue’s blog 🙂

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au April 15, 2019 at 16:19

    Well, Chiball sounds like it takes Tai Chi to a whole new level. I love the idea of having nice smells and colours and the names of the moves sound very ethereal and pleasant – almost like you’re just in a lovely little Zen place and not really exercising at all – definitely right up my alley!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 16, 2019 at 09:07

      I think it sounds like fun, Leanne and I’ve not heard about it before. I did find a class on the GC so I might check it out when I move. x

    • Reply Debbie April 17, 2019 at 08:05

      Thanks Leanne, and guess what? they had an orange ball which smelt of citrus, which I picked of course, then when I was told what it represented, I found it was just perfect for me. Me and orange – we fit together so well 🙂 . It’s a very pleasant activity which I recommend and I really would like to do Tai Chi one day too.

  • Reply Sydney Shop Girl April 15, 2019 at 16:40

    Debbie, thanks for sharing about chiball. I need to add a bit more lower impact exercise to my life after being in a bit of denial about my body’s limitations. Fortunately, I’m on the mend but I like the idea of adding more variety to my weekly regime,

    SSG xxx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 16, 2019 at 09:08

      Yes I’m with you SSG I do quite a bit of high intensity and cardio but yoga is my lower impact. Chi Ball might be a great alternative to try.

    • Reply Debbie April 17, 2019 at 08:06

      Thanks SSG, I think it would be great for adding variety to your exercise routine and a low impact one at that. All the best for your recovery 🙂

  • Reply Ness April 15, 2019 at 20:07

    Had never heard of chiball. It sounds interesting. I’m so unfit I’d probably deflate the ball LOL!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 16, 2019 at 09:08

      You make me laugh Ness! Have a great week.

    • Reply Debbie April 17, 2019 at 08:03

      Haha!! The balls are small soft inflatable balls and we actually have to let air out of them for some exercises 🙂 . It’s a nice gentle, but still useful, workout.

  • Reply Candi Randolph April 16, 2019 at 00:52

    Very interesting, Deb! I have never heard of Chiball but it sounds like a good way to stretch, tone and relax. Thanks for helping me learn something new today!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 16, 2019 at 09:09

      It sounds fun as well Candi and I like to try new things. I think there is a class where I’m moving to so I might give ChiBall a try.

      • Reply Debbie April 17, 2019 at 08:01

        That sounds great Sue! let me know if you give it a go 🙂

    • Reply Debbie April 17, 2019 at 08:01

      Glad you enjoyed it Candi, it’s always good to be a guest on sue’s blog and share our knowledge around with other interested bloggers 🙂

  • Reply Miriam April 17, 2019 at 08:40

    I’ve never heard of Chi ball before but I’m not surprised to hear that Deb’s given it a go. As we both know she’s a pretty active and adventurous woman and seems up to giving anything a go, like you. No wonder you got along so well when you met!! Thanks Sue and Debbie. You both inspire me. xx

    • Reply Debbie April 22, 2019 at 09:42

      Thanks for your lovely comment Miriam! I am inspired by so many women and you are among them. I can tell you that it was great meeting up with Sue and she is one dynamic woman and so genuine in all she says and does. I always enjoy this side of blogging where we can connect with like minded souls.

      • Reply Miriam April 22, 2019 at 10:14

        Absolutely Deb! I think it’s one of the best parts of blogging. xx

  • Reply Denyse Whelan April 17, 2019 at 18:34

    Always learning something new from you Debbie (and Sue) and today is no exception. Good on you for your adventures and your very active lifestyle…and equally good on you for rest up days! Important to have the balance…as they say!
    Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek. Next week’s optional prompt is Easter Means This. 16/51 #LifeThisWeek. 41/2019. Hope to see you there!

    • Reply Debbie April 22, 2019 at 09:45

      Thanks Denyse, I always enjoy meeting up with new people and you’ve been inspirational in sharing your stories too. Isn’t it good when when we learn something new from others? Being active is good for us but as you say, knowing when to rest is just as important. I’m learning to listen to my body far more than I have in the past.

  • Reply Erica/Erika April 21, 2019 at 01:10

    Hi Sue and Debbie, First of all, I can’t imagine snow in Australia. It is interesting how we almost have to give ourselves permission to rest. You also remind me that sometimes the most fun adventures are the spontaneous ones. I like your phrase “using muscles and feeling alive.”

    This is the first time I have heard the term Chiball. I will see whether it is accessible in my Victoria. The both of you are very inspirational! 🙂 Erica

    • Reply Debbie April 21, 2019 at 11:55

      HI Erica, thanks for your comment, it’s always good to meet other bloggers. Yes we get snow here in Australia, and quite a lot bit only in certain parts of the country. We do need to almost give ourselves permission to rest don’t we? My favourite types of activities are spontaneous ones, they are so much more fun it seems. I’m glad to introduce the term chi ball to you, it’s something a bit different! Lovely to have you join in and thanks for the compliment 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 22, 2019 at 06:47

      Hi Erica, yes there is snow down south but not where I live. I love that Deb is spontaneous and enjoy reading about what she is doing. I hadn’t heard of ChiBall before either but I’ve found a class in my area which I might investigate. Thanks for stopping by and have a beautiful week. xx

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