Make your day harder
Our generation has a severe case of sitting disease. We need to find ways to get moving. Watch the video clip below and join the movement
Find something you like to do
Now you know how often and for how long you should be active, the next step is to think about what activities you like doing – do you like walking, swimming, gardening? You might even like to try a new activity – try a range of different activities until you find the ones that feel right for you.
The simplest way to get active is to go walking. Remember, the faster, farther and more frequently you walk, the greater the benefits. You might start with five minutes a day the first week, and then increase your time by five minutes each week until you reach at least 30 minutes. If you are considering walking or running, pedometers count the number of steps you take. They are available in sports shops, supermarkets and pharmacies and don’t cost too much. If you have a smart phone, you can download a pedometer / walking app. You can use your pedometer to keep a record of how many steps you take, the distance you walk and how long it takes. By keeping a record you can see how far you’ve come. It may even help boost your motivation to keep walking. Just think how good you'll feel when you see how many miles you've walked each week, month or year.
Get Ireland Walking is here to help you get started, with tips and advice for anybody who wants to start walking and information you need to start a walking group so you can get fit with friends. Start walking today - it's a first step to feeling good. http://www.getirelandwalking.ie/findgroup/
If you have never run before, running may feel a bit intimidating. The most important thing is to start slowly and build up gradually. The best way to start running is to use the ‘run – walk’ method, where you run for a short period and then walk for a short period. Over time, you gradually increase the amount of time you run for and decrease the amount of time you walk for. Be patient with yourself and you will gradually build up your fitness. Start with a 1:7 run / walk ratio, this means one minute running followed by seven minutes walking. There are plenty of couch to 5k programmes, aimed at helping you run for 30 minutes over an eight-week period.
Couch 2 5k beginners running programme
C25K is a fantastic program that's been designed to get just about anyone from the couch to running 5km or 30 minutes in just eight weeks. Its secret is that it's a gentle introduction to getting the body moving, starting off alternating between walking and running small distances, and slowly building up until after eight weeks, you're ready to run 5km or 30 minutes nonstop. There are plenty of smartphone apps that will do the job. change for life couch to 5 k app
parkrun organise free, weekly, 5km timed runs around the world and currently at 43 locations around the Island of Ireland. They are open to everyone, free, and are safe and easy for everyone to take part in. These events take place in pleasant parkland surroundings and everyone is encourages to take part from walkers, joggers & runners. parkrun is supported by getirelandactive and Healthy Ireland
GLO Health Fit4life
Most athletic clubs run the GloHealth Fit4life programme, which is for all runners whether you are a complete beginner or a regular jogger / runner. A trained instructor will give you tips and information on how to run and build up your fitness. http://www.athleticsireland.ie/clubs/fit4life/
Men on the move
Men on the Move is a physical activity programme that is aimed at adult men to get them active, have fun and improve their fitness levels. The emphasis of the programme is to create awareness and understanding of the importance of physical activity and the health benefits not just of physical health but of mental health and well-being. Contact your local sports partnership to find out more. http://www.irishsportscouncil.ie/Participation/Local_Sports_Partnerships/LSP_Contact_Finder/
Swimming is very popular in Ireland, so popular in fact that about one in every 20 people in Ireland go swimming each week. Swimming is great for all age groups – it causes very little joint strain so it’s ideal for adults with arthritis. Regular swimming builds endurance as well as upper and lower body fitness. If you can’t swim or feel you might be a bit rusty, it’s never too late to learn or improve. Contact your local swimming pool and ask about lessons – most pools cater for different age groups and abilities.
Take the plunge
Our top tip to keep you motivated is to decide your main goal – whether it’s to learn how to swim or to swim a mile. The next step is to work out how you are going to accomplish your goal. Look at your daily schedule and set aside time every week to go to the pool, it may be before or after work or on weekends. Keep your swimming bag nearby with fresh towels so you are always ready to go.
Swim a mile
Swim Ireland holds an annual ‘Swim for a Mile Challenge’, challenges members of the public to compete in national events to swim a mile. Swim Ireland provides a free training programme, support, advice and motivation for all those wanting to take on the challenge. For more information about the Swim Ireland ‘Swim for a Mile Challenge’, log on to www.swimforamile.com.
Cycling is one of the easiest ways to fit exercise into your daily routine because it's also a form of transport, saving you money. Whether you’re cycling to work, to school, to the shops or just for fun, cycling your bike is an easy way to get more active.
As well as building strength and muscle tone, did you know that regular cycling can reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke? It can also boost your mood, reduce stress and may even help you keep your weight under control.
Remember, safety first so wear a helmet and a high visibility vest, particularly when cycling in the dark. If you are a beginner or you are out of the habit of cycling, begin to cycle in your local park away from traffic. Practice cycling with one hand so that you learn how to make hand signals, and get comfortable looking over both shoulders to improve your visual awareness.
Bike for life
Bike for Life is Cycling Ireland's brand new cycling programme aimed at three levels of cyclist. The aim of Bike for Life is to make cycling more accessible to everyone, through cycling courses that teach riders skills and techniques, along with increasing the knowledge of the cyclist with regard to nutrition, bike mechanics, training principles and much more. Bike for Life is sponsored by HSE, under the Get Ireland Active initiative, and it also receives funding from the Irish Sports Council's Women in Sport initiative.
Special Olympics changes lives. Special Olympics Ireland is first and foremost a sports organisation for people with an intellectual disability, but it provides athletes with far more than the physical benefits of sport. It’s about fun, friendships and team spirit; it’s about a feeling of belonging, and ultimately improving quality of life. Special Olympics changes lives in so many different ways.
Through sport, athletes develop both physically and emotionally, they make new friends, realise their dreams, and know they can fit in. Special Olympics enables them to achieve and win not only in sport but in life too.