In the month of January, people work on their New Year resolutions with many including fitness goals such as getting in better physical shape or losing weight among them.
It can be very difficult to maintain these goals into February and beyond so it is important to take small steps so as not to over do it initially. Getting more active is a great way to improve your mood and if possible enjoy the great outdoors, with the added benefit of helping to burn off extra calories.
The HSE recommends that all adults should aim to be active for at least 30 minutes a day five days a week. Children and young people should be active for at least 60 minutes every day.
You don’t have to do it all at once. You can build up to 30 minutes or more a day by doing a number of short bouts of physical activity. However, you must be active for at least 10 minutes for it to count. Children are naturally active, so any amount of physical activity counts towards their 60 minutes.
Clodagh Armitage, Physical Activity Coordinator for the Midlands remarked, “being physically active is one of the most important steps you can take to improve your health, whatever your age or ability. Even moderate intensity activities, such as brisk walking (1 mile in 15-20 minutes), cycling (slower than 10 miles an hour), ballroom dancing, or work around the home such as brisk hovering, will be of benefit. Whatever activity you are doing, once your heart is beating faster than normal and your breathing is harder than normal, it is good for your health.”
If you are not sure where to start you can wrap up and go for a walk with friends or family. There are over 164 Slí na Sláinte walking routes across the country including Tullamore and Cloghan. To download a map for these Slí na Slainte routes, please visit www.irishheart.ie, alternatively watch out for the distinctive yellow signs.
If you want more than a walk check out www.getirelandactive.ie, a dedicated website for events, advice, information and motivation to help you get more physically active.
The site is updated regularly by local clubs and Sports Partnerships, and many of the activities listed are free. Some of the activities listed on the site include: Yoga in Birr, Hockey, Bootcamp classes and Swimming lessons in Tullamore.
Fit4Life – a programme run by Athletics Ireland and local Sports Partnerships for people interested in running for fun can meet and train. Beginners are welcome. Check out www.offalysports.ie