It’s that time of year again when everyone decides they are going to get fit and healthy.
There are a number of free ways you can go from a couch potato to ironman or ironwoman.
1. Operation Transformation
Operation Transformation is back on air on January 6th on RTE One and will run for 8 weeks. You can visit the website for more information and to become part of the Operation Transformation community. You can use their weight tracker to receive your personalised weight loss target and chart your progress against your chosen leader. There are also many events scheduled throughout the 8 weeks such as nationwide walks, runs and cycles.
Over 13,000 people took part in the national walks in 2015. These are a great way of promoting walking as a fun way to get and stay active. The walks are on Nationwide on January 12th. See where your local walk is here.
Running is a great way to get fit and also an excellent way to de-stress after a long day at work. The great thing about running is you can take it as slow or as fast as you are comfortable with. For those who want to ease into exercising, there’s plenty of free Couch to 5k programs online. Free apps like Runkeeper will help you keep track of your speed and distance and even help you find pre-planned routes, so you can monitor your progress and make your run more enjoyable.
For those of you who are competitive and like to keep track of their personal best, there are free Park Runs throughout Ireland. Great for those who like to socialise while exercising.
There is nothing better than having a hearty breakfast, getting out in the fresh air and walking through the beautiful countryside that surrounds you in Ireland. Ireland is well known for its beautiful nature trails such as The Kerry Way or the unusual landscape of the Burren in county Clare.
Hiking can be an enjoyable day out with friends and family, while also improving your fitness levels. The Irish Ramblers Club and the Wayfarers Hiking Club are just some of the numerous hiking clubs that organise regular outings.
Irishtrails.ie provides free maps of 774 available trails around Ireland so you have no excuse!
Cycling helps you stay fit and healthy, burns a lot of calories and reduces your carbon footprint too. If your employer is part of the cycle to work scheme you could save up to 52% off your bike and accessories. You could start out by cycling to work once a week and build on that.
Cyclescheme.ie has a handy tool to calculate how many calories you could burn and how much CO2 emissions you could cut by cycling to work. For example, if you cycled 10 km to work and back 5 days a week you will burn about 2920 calories a week, that’s about the same as going to the gym for 7.3 hours.
So once you have your bike, you could join a cycling club to keep you motivated. Cyclingireland.ie maps all the clubs over Ireland, take a look here to find your local cycling club.
You may need to a pay membership fee, depending on the club you join. But it will be worth it! .