Mayo men are on the move to a healthier lifestyle

Mayo men are felling fitter, looking better, and enjoying being more physically active as a result of the Men on the Move activity programme. This exciting programme, which is the first of its kind in Ireland, has helped participants to become more physically active, increase fitness levels, lose weight, have more energy, and improve their overall health and well-being.

Last year more than 100 men took part in the Men on the Move physical activity programme in Ballina, Claremorris, and Westport. Over 16 weeks the men met twice a week in the three towns to take part in the programme. A leader in each town led the group and encouraged men to take part in a range of activities including walking, running, cycling, and other activities. The men were aged between 35 and 75. A recent evaluation of the programme undertaken by health promotion researcher Lucia Canavan, which was launched in Claremorris on Friday, January 25, showed that these men have increased their physical activity levels, lost weight, reduced their BMI (body mass index ), improved their fitness levels and overall lifestyle.

To download a copy of the report log on to www.mayosports.ie/news Men who have participated in the programme really enjoyed it. One participant said: “I have far more energy and my health is better… my quality of life is great.” Another commented on his improved self confidence: “Once you get a bit fitter, the self confidence, you feel a whole lot better in yourself.” A participant who lost more than four stone since starting the programme said: “I feel better; when I sit down on the chair I don’t fall asleep now. I’m wanting to get out and walk and feel better.” The social aspect of the programme and knowing that you did not have to be fit to take part, was hugely important to the participants.

This programme, which was funded by the HSE, was delivered in conjunction with Mayo Sports Partnership, Croí West of Ireland Cardiology Foundation, and media partner Midwest Radio.

Speaking at the launch of the report Minister of State for Sport Michael Ring said: “We need to change how we think about health in Ireland; we have to think about preventing illnesses and supporting people to live healthier lives rather than putting all the emphasis on treatment. Physical activity and sport does so much for physical mental and social health, we need to support projects like Men on the Move.”

The groups in existing areas have continued the programme in a self sustaining format with the aid of local community groups such as athletic clubs and Family Resource Centres. The initiative has recently expanded to include both the Erris and Castlebar areas with more planned in the near future.

Anyone interested in more information can contact Mayo Sports Partnership on 094 904 7025 or log onto www.mayosports.ie You can also contact the local leaders of the projects. Ballina - Pat on 087 254 0334, Claremorris - Paul on 087 132 4239, Erris - Michelle on 087 764 6710, Castlebar - Taragh on 087 647 1919, Westport - Marian on 087 763 2669.

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