Being physically active is beneficial for your physical and mental health and overall wellbeing. It can help you deal with anxiety and stress. Getting outdoors, if you can, is really important. With many of us spending more time than usual indoors over recent months, getting back to an active routine can be challenging. Here are some tips to get you going.
- Start small. If you are starting a fitness journey, you need to take things one step at a time. Start with any activity that raises your heart rate, makes you breathe faster and feel warmer. This could be a brisk walk, riding a bike, dancing indoors, or exercising at home.
- Be consistent. Keep at it (even if there are some tough days) and you will see results soon.
- Find ways to fit activity into your day, or to encourage yourself to get moving. Try walking the short journeys that you sometimes drive, doing some stretches indoors, or taking a quick walk on your lunch break (weather permitting).
- Partner up. Getting a friend or family member involved will keep you motivated.
- Don’t overdo it – take it slowly, or you will get disheartened.
- The important thing is that no matter what your age or circumstance it’s important to keep moving – indoors or outdoors – to help you enjoy better health.
- The easiest way to be active is to find something that you enjoy doing. Check with Sport Ireland and your Local Sports Partnership to see what’s available in your area.
- The National Physical Activity guidelines recommend 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity five days a week for adults, and 60 minutes for kids, but short bouts of physical activity (even 10 minutes at a time) can quickly add up.
- Many local and sports clubs run social teams for different age groups. This way you get to play your favourite sport no matter what your fitness or skill level, and it’s a great way to get out to meet like-minded people, while being more active.
For more examples of how to get started, go to our partners website in the HSE
Walking, running and cycling
No matter how old, fit, or busy you are – walking works. The most important thing is to aim for a pace that slightly raises your heartbeat and makes you breathe a little faster and feel a little warmer. Once you can still talk, you’re doing well!
Find out more about walking from Get Ireland Walking.
More and more people are cycling every day, either as part of their commute to work or school or as exercise. Cycling Ireland has lots of information for cyclists of all ages and abilities
A good place to start is Bike for Life – a ‘sofa to saddle’ programme which gives people the skills and knowledge to enjoy cycling and cycle safely from scratch
If you had always wanted to start running, there are lots of Couch to 5K programmes online or check out your Local Sports Partnership
Many parkruns have restarted at various locations around the country. Parkruns are free, weekly, timed, 5k events. You can walk, run or jog the course. It’s up to you. These are held on Saturday mornings. For more information go to parkrun.ie
Kids need to be active every day. All activity, no matter how short, counts. Keeping kids active helps them to build strong muscles, healthy bones, agility and co-ordination, while improving self-esteem, mood, energy and sleep patterns.
If you have a garden, playing games outside as a family is a great way to get some fresh air and physical activity in without even thinking. There are some great ideas at START to get you started.
Being active as a family is really important. Why not try some family walks, or a weekend cycle? Parkrun also have a junior version, just for kids, on Sunday mornings. You can find the list of locations here.
Sometimes all you need is a wall and a hurley/football/tennis racket and a ball.
Check out your local sports clubs to see their junior options.
You could also try walking or cycling with your kids to school.
Babies and toddlers need to be physically active too. Chasing games, music and action songs are a great way to encourage them to be physically active. You could also try light activities, such as building blocks or playing on the floor.
As you get older it is really important to stay active. Being active can help your body to stay strong and supple, improve balance and coordination aiding in falls prevention, cheer you up and boost your energy.
Just 30 minutes activity a day indoors or outdoors could have a huge impact on your health.
Here are some tips to get you going:
- light housework, gardening or walking around your garden are all good ways to keep active while staying safe
- Sport Ireland have developed a series of exercise videos specifically for older adults. You can find them here
- Siel Bleu have some great exercise videos on their YouTube page
- the HSE also have some more tips and info on indoor exercises for older people here
- Age and Opportunity have a Fitline that you can call for tips and advice on getting active
- Age and Opportunity are livestreaming their Movement Minutes exercise videos on Facebook on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 11am
- Watch more videos from Age and Opportunity
Contact: Healthy Kildare on :
Healthy Ireland Coordinator