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move healthy

Move Healthy

Welcome Physical Activity & Active Transport

Regular and sustained physical activity is the key to a healthy and active life.  Just thirty minutes a day results in the release of endorphins, the feel-good hormones that can have a positive effect on self-esteem and mood.  If that’s not enough to motivate you, physical activity  can also help in areas such as weight management and reducing your risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and stroke. It is also a positive and productive distraction your studies and helps to relieve stress!  Physical activity patterns at university are important influencers of habits in later life, as well as on short and long term health.  With many academic demands and the increased use of technology for communication and entertainment it can be very easy for students to slip into a sedentary way of life. 

So what is physical activity?  Physical activity simply means movement of the body that uses energy. Walking, gardening, taking the stairs, playing soccer, or dancing the night away are all examples of being active.   To maximize health benefits, physical activity should be of a moderate or vigorous intensity. In this section we will share our top tips, resources and information on the benefits of physical activity and strategies you can use to increase your physical activity levels.  Why not accomplish two goals with one effort and use your commute to boost your physical activity levels with our smarter campus travel walking and cycling information and tips!

 Benefits of Physical Activity

 (Source Get Ireland Active)

  • Did you know if you are regularly active, you are reducing your risk of developing 35 chronic diseases
  • Physical activity can add years to your life
  • Physical activity improves quality of your life
  • Helps you maintain a healthy weight
  • Helps you manage stress better
  • Improves your quality of sleep
  • Builds muscle tone
  • Boosts your self esteem
  • Makes you feel great

As a student physical activity can also have a positive impact on your academic success by:

  • Improved memory
  • Improved focus
  • Distraction from negative thinking
  • Opportunities to meet new friends

Physical Activity Key Facts

  • 19% of DCU students do no physical activity*
  •  20% of DCU students are over overweight and 5% are obese*
  • Exercise, gaelic football, soccer, running an walking are the top 5 participation sports for Irish students*
  • 1 in 7 students in Ireland are members of a sports club in college
  • 30.2% of the Irish population meet the National Physical Activity Guidelines**
  • 12.1% of the Irish population are sedentary**


*Student Sport Ireland, SASSI Survey 2016              
**Irish Sports Monitor 2016

 National Physical Activity Guidelines

Adults should be getting at least at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on 5 days a week; or at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a week.

What is moderate intensity physical activity?
How it feels  - Increased breathing and heart rate, but still able to carry on a conversation. Warm or sweating slightly, comfortable pace
Examples: Brisk walking - 1 mile in 15-20 minutes; Water aerobics; Cycling slower than 10 miles per hour; Ballroom dancing; General gardening; Brisk hovering, Tennis.

Why not print the Get Ireland Active Fact sheet for Adults to remind you to reach the physical activity guidelines.

Sedentary Behaviour

Physical inactivity is one of the leading risk factors for poor health and is identified by the World Health Organisation as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality and is responsible for chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, diabetes breast cancer and colon cancer (source: Get Ireland Active).

Estimate the time you spend sitting each day with the Get Ireland Active Sitting calculator.

 Strategies to get more active

 In this section we will give you our top tips on how to make small manageable and sustainable changes to your physical activity levels .  A few minor alterations to your daily life can make all the difference and can substantially increase your physical activity levels.

  • Walk instead of drive where possible.
  • If you are travelling by bus, get off a few stops before your destination and walk the rest of the way.
  • Take the stairs instead of the lift.
  • If you have a long lunch break, why not go for a walk and a breath of fresh air.
  • Exercise with a friend you are less likely to let someone else down and you can motivate and encourage each other.
  • Make a playlist of your favourite motivational songs to workout to using your phone or an app such as Spotify. 
  • Get up from your desk at least every hour and walk around or do stretches.
  • Record your daily steps with a pedometer or an app on your phone and aim for at least 10,000 steps a day

To help and inspire you, here is a video of 8 steps to get active (source: Get Ireland Active)

 How to Increase your Physical Activity levels at DCU

 There are many opportunities for you to increase your level of physical activity in DCU.  Here are some of our top tips to get you more active on campus

Become a member of the DCU Sports Complex and access the facilities on the Glasnevin and the St Patrick's Campus
Get involved in the Pay as you Sessions in the DCU Sports Complex

Go for a walk in the Albert College Park or on the DCU Glasnevin campus following the Sli na Slainte Walking route 

Get involved in the DCU Sports Developmemt Service Active DCU Programme
 Use the Intercampus bike scheme to travel between campuses (Staff scheme)
 Join a DCU Club or Society.  There are over 120 to choose from.  See the full list in the A-Z of Clubs and Socs leaflet
 Be a smart commuter and use the DCU Smarter Campus travel information to travel to and between campuses
 Off Campus Supports & Useful Websites
Get Ireland Active  A one stop shop for information on physical activity and includes a database of national sport and recreational facilities. 
Local Sports PartnershipsGet information on physical activity opportunities, programmes, clubs and events in your local area by visiting your local sports partnership website.
Park RunPark Run organise free timed weekly 5km runs.  They are open to everyone, free, safe and easy to take part in.
Motivation TipsDo you need some help to get motivated?  The Get Ireland Active website has the top 10 motivation tips to get you startred and to keep on track. 
Get Active ToolsGet Ireland Active have tools to get active including an activity diary, step challenge card, 21 day walking challenge card and an app 
Tips to squeeze in workoutRead the Get Ireland Active Guide and tips to squeeze in a workout to your day
Ready to Change?

No matter what your starting point here are some useful tips from Get Ireland Active to help you make changes to increase yoyr physicval activity levels.

Motivational Talks and Video

Check out these videos and talks from Get Ireland Active that will inspire you to increase your physical activity levels

 On Campus Support Services
DCU Sports Development Service  The DCU Sports Development Service is responsible for developing student sport in DCU. Programmes cater for recreational opportunities, competitive sport and elite sport.  
DCU Sports Complex      DCU Sport offers state of the art facilities incorporating health and wellness to meet all your exercise and leisure needs.  Facilities are availabe on the Glasnevin and St Patrick's campus
DCU Clubs & Societies There are over 120 student run clubs and societies to choose from.  Clubs and Socs offer a range of sport, arts, dance and academic interest groups and cater for beginners, recreational and competitive abilities.
DCU Healthy Living Centre The DCU Healthy Living Centre (HLC) is an innovative facility providing an extensive array of health care services to both the local community and nationally