Exercise helps with not only your physical health but your mental health. It releases chemicals in your brain (endorphins) that have a positive effect on your mood and your body.
The National Guidelines on Physical Activity for Ireland recommends adults (aged 18–64) take at least 30 minutes a day of moderate intensity activity, five days a week (or 150 minutes a week)
Moderate-intensity activity makes you breathe a bit faster, feel a bit warmer and notice your heart beating faster - for example, walking briskly.
Vigorous-intensity activity will usually make you breathe very hard, so you feel short of breath, make your heart beat quickly and mean you will be unable to carry on a conversation - for example, running or cycling fast or uphill.
In addition to this aerobic activity, adults should also aim to do a minimum of two sessions of muscle-strengthening activities per week. A session should be a minimum of 8-10 exercises using the major muscle groups and do 8-12 repetitions of each exercise.
Get active easily
You can make time for fitness, no matter how busy your life is with school, college, work or family. There is no need to join a gym or buy equipment. Begin with 5 to 10 minutes a few times a week and build up to the recommended 30 minutes 5 days a week
Tips to help you fit some physical activity into your day.
- Move in your chair. At work, set a reminder to stand up and move every 30 minutes.
- Walk as much as you can throughout the day. It’s a great form of activity and it’s free.
- Organise active holidays or days out. There are many beautiful parks and beaches in Ireland.
- Active housework counts toward your activity goals. Gardening, hoovering, cleaning floors and washing windows are all good ways of keeping active.
- Join a walking group or sports group. People who join a group for activity are more motivated to be active.
- Be active indoors. Shopping centres are a good place to walk when the weather is bad.
Muscle-strengthening activities can include climbing stairs, walking uphill, lifting or carrying shopping, digging the garden, weight training, Pilates, yoga or similar resistance exercises that use the major muscle groups.
Use some sort of resistance (such as a weight for arm exercises). The level (weight) should be so that you can do 8-12 repetitions before the muscle group gets tired and you have to stop.
You can do the exercises for each muscle group one after another to complete a session. Or, you can split a session up over a day in, say, bouts of 10 minutes to help build up your strength.
At college or university
- Commute to college by bicycle, scooter or skateboard.
- Try fitting in a walk or jog between lectures.
- Being outside gives us a “feel good” factor, no matter what the weather is doing.
- Walk around your DCU campus. - A loop around the grounds of All Hallows Campus is approx. 1.3km. Glasnevin campus 1.5-2k, Albert college park (beside Glasnevin) 1.5k, St Patrick’s campus about 1.2k and Griffith Park (beside St Patrick’s) 1.2k.
- Join our DCU gym
Joining a club or society is a good way to meet new people and get active.
- Parkrun organise free, weekly, 5km timed runs around the world. There are many in the Dublin area. They are open to everyone, free, safe and easy to take part in.
- A large network of National Waymarked Trails for walkers have been established around the country ranging in distance from 25km to over 200km. They can be enjoyed as day walks or can be walked in their entirety over a number of days.
- Ishka Irish Spring Water Fit4life is a programme for all runners whether you are a complete beginner or a regular jogging/runner. The programme will help you to achieve improved levels of fitness and wellness within the club structure in a fun, sociable environment.
- C25K, is a fantastic program that's been designed to get just about anyone from the couch to running 5 kilometers or 30 minutes in just 9 weeks.