If your New Year resolution is to get fit then the HSE’s Get Ireland Active website (www.getirelandactive.ie ) is the place to start.
This one-stop information source on how to get involved in physical activity includes information on getting started, tips to keep active and a listing of events taking place in the city and county with a search facility to allow you to select activities by date, age group, ability or cost.
Paul Gillen, a health promotion officer with the HSE West, says three out of four Irish adults and four out of five Irish children are not sufficiently active to gain health benefits.
He outlines the website is designed to encourage people to become more active.
“No matter what age or ability level there is something for everybody to get involved in. With individual and team sports and family friendly activities listed, there is a wide range of healthy and fun activities to choose from.”
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.”
Physical inactivity is a risk factor for a broad range of chronic illnesses including coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some cancer. Being physically active is one of the most important steps you can take to improve your health, whatever your age or ability, according to the local health authority.
“If you feel that you haven’t got 30 minutes to spare during the day it is important to note that you can reap the physical and mental rewards of being active by accumulating your activity throughout the day.
“By participating in 10 minutes of moderate intensity activity three times per day, for example a brisk walk (one mile in 15 to 20 minutes ), you can help to meet the recommended guidelines. The key message to remember is that every step counts in combating your risk of poor health,” says Mr Gillen.
For further information on getting active log onto www.getirelandactive.ie - Ireland’s only dedicated online source for getting active.