By Eoin Ryan
The Sport Ireland Winter Initiative has launched to get people who do not usually exercise to get out walking, running, or doing some form of physical activity for the new year
25.3% of men and women in Ireland are obese, above the EU average of 23.3%, according to a World Health Organisation report. The report says obesity has reached epidemic proportions and six in ten adults are overweight or obese.
An EU-wide survey found that 35% of Irish respondents did not engage in any form of physical activity, rising by one percent from a similar survey conducted in 2017.
The initiative began in order to combat this problem, targeting those currently not exercising on a regular basis who are most likely to be overweight or obese. It started on 1 November and will continue until the end of January next year.
There are also several events tailored towards older people, including Movement Minutes, an online movement session involving Tai Chi, yoga, and salsa dancing. It broadcasts on the Age & Opportunity Facebook page at 11am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with videos also available on their Youtube channel.
Men on the Move is a six week programme for men 30 years and older to improve overall health & physical fitness at a beginner level.
Events are also tailored to those with a wide variety of disabilities so as to make sure everyone is included in the new initiative. A 6 week programme of visually impaired guided walking and Run Jump Throw sessions for children with Autism or intellectual disabilities give them a chance at staying in shape.
A 0-3k programme is a way for complete beginners to slowly build their fitness up and be able to jog a 3k at the end of 6 weeks.
For a full list of events and activities, go to the Sport Ireland winter initiative page at https://www.sportireland.ie/winter-initiative#:~:text=This%20’Winter%20Initiative’%20calls%20on,some%20form%20of%20physical%20activity.