Get Ireland Active
Get Ireland Active is a national framework implemented by the Irish Government and it’s society to improve the health and wellbeing of people living in Ireland.
A large number of Irish people are not meeting their physical activity recommendation1 with Irish people spending on average 5.3 hours sitting each workday2.
Adding small amounts of physical activity to everyday, is a great way to not only improve your physical health, but also your mental health. Regular exercise can help reducing your risk of several chronic diseases1 such as, heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Several studies have shown the benefits of exercise on gut health; exercise has been shown to increase the number of beneficial bacterial species and bacterial diversity in the gut3,4,5.
Physical activity has also been shown to relieve stress, improve your mood, help you sleep better and increase your energy levels6.
Being physically active does not mean you need to spend time and money on a gym membership, you can get active no matter how busy your life is and no matter where you are.
A few ways to get active at work are to; take a walk at lunch, take the stairs instead of using the lift, get off the bus or train one stop early and walk the rest of the way or park your car further away to increase your walking time.
Getting active at home is easier than you think; put more effort into your household chores, scrub with more vigour, sweep and mop with more intensity and hoover like you’ve never hoovered before; both you and your house will fell better for it. Gardening is another great way to get active and can be enjoyed by children and adults.
Encourage children to be more active by turning up the music and having a dance, plan a fun active family day such as a bike ride or hike or play active games that involve running or chasing.
Setting yourself achievable activity targets and exercising with a friend can help keep you motivated and make the activity more enjoyable.
How much exercise should you be doing?
Activity guidelines change throughout life, children and young adults should be active at a moderate to vigorous level for at least 60 minutes every day1,7.
Adults aged 18-64 should aim to be physically active every day with activities focusing on strengthening major muscles groups incorporated at least twice a week, this could include activities like yoga, weight lifting or even heavy house work.
It is recommended to take part in at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity each week, such as riding a bike, brisk walking, mowing the lawn or dancing. If you would rather exercise for shorter periods of time you can substitute this with 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity each week, this includes jogging, fast swimming, team sports like football, rugby, hockey and netball or sports like gymnastics and martial arts8.
Older adult, aged 65+, should be active for at least 150 minutes a week with a focus on muscle-strengthening and balance1,7.
Start with 5 to 10 minutes gentle activity every day and build up to the appropriate recommendation.
Whatever you’re planning on doing today remember to ‘Get up, Get outside and Get active’. To find out more information please visit www.getirelandactive.ie For more information on getting gut healthy see: www.loveyourgut.com