Take up rather than give up this Lent

Lent is upon us and Catholics have begun the 40-day Lenten journey by making a sacrifice or change to their usual lifestyle. Giving up sweet things, alcohol, device time and other treats are all up for grabs. But this year, how about turning Lent on its head and Take Up Not Give Up This Lent? By take up I mean getting fit and active together with friends or as a family and there are plenty of worthy causes you can help along the way.

Tips on How to Take Up Not Give Up this Lent

For motivation, recruit friends to join you or pick an activity to do together as a family

Set goals to work towards

Be realistic about what you can achieve

Have set times during the week to do your activity so you are less likely to make excuses

Get the correct equipment for your chosen activity

Sign up for an event in the future to work towards so you are less likely to quit

See if there are any charities you can help along the way

Ideas of what you can Take Up Not Give Up this Lent

Depending on your age, it is ok to start small. Even getting out for a daily brisk walk, run, bike ride, skate or kick about in the garden or park is ideal.

You could walk, scoot or cycle to school or park and stride. Just leave a little earlier and park away further away so you can walk the extra distance.

Take part in a local park run. There are two organised 5k events on Saturday mornings in Knockcarra and Oranmore (parkrun.ie ). Alternatively choose a route to do together as a family at a time that suits. Galway has many safe routes to choose from including the prom, Barna Woods, Spiddal beach to the pier and don’t forget to play pooh sticks on the bridge, UCHG to Dangan, Merlin Woods, Rinville Park Oranmore, Castle Park Ballybane are just a few.

Take swimming more seriously. Leisureland, Kingfisher NUIG, Kingfisher Renmore and Kilcornan pools all have public opening hours. Practice your favrouite stroke and each week see if you can swim a little further. Have some fun by racing each other and you will slowly build up your confidence and stamina.

Pick a new sport or hobby to try out. You may love soccer or basketball but how about trying out camogie/hurling, yoga, tennis, badminton, martial arts or another sport? You could join a class, many offer taster sessions before you have to commit so you could try a few different ones during lent. Or dig out rackets from the garage and practice in the garden or local park.

Get on your bike. Most of us have them but how often do we use them? You could consider a day trip to the Greenway where you can hire bikes suitable for all ages or bring your own along. They even have kids trailer tag alongs for younger members of the family. So this Lent get out and get fit as a family by taking up not giving up.

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