I recently listened to Frank Greally, editor of 'Irish Runner', on the 'Marian Finucane Show' talking about exercise and the importance it has had in his past. I felt inspired by his honesty.
Like all of us, he has felt down. But now he is getting his health, fitness and life back on track with a simple aim in mind – to run a 5k.
This got me thinking, 5k is a distance we all should aim to run. It's long enough to provide every benefit of exercise, and long enough to provide a realistic yet tough target anyone can achieve. Yet, it's also short enough that it won't take you hours and hours of training – anyone of any fitness level and pretty much any age can run 5k.
There are hundreds of races around Ireland each year. Parkrun is providing free 5k races in parks around Dublin every weekend, so there doesn't have to be a cost involved.
Getting fit enough to run 5k could save your life as you lose weight, feel better and get the endorphin rush that comes with improving the state of your health.
You will also feel proud of your ability to set a target, hit that target and cross that line. You will wear that T-shirt with pride and show off that medal. Five kilometres could become the easiest yet most important distance you have ever travelled. So what are you waiting for?
STEP TO IT
Pedometers are great ways to track your exercise and ensure that you take enough steps during the day. If you want to take things a little further, pick up a Fitbit Flex. It's essentially an advanced pedometer that even texts you if you aren't achieving your targets. It's very cool and will help to get you fit by reminding you of what you are doing each day. From 399 at Harvey Norman.
I'm a big fan of yoghurts. They are full of bacteria for the gut, as well as being a healthy snack. Glenisk and Glenilen are both fantastic Irish brands with minimal processing. Look out for them the next time you're in the supermarket.
(RELATIVELY) HEALTHY NUT CLUSTERS
Dark chocolate is surprisingly good for you. It's full of antioxidants and goodness and is a great alternative to milk chocolate. Nuts are high in protein, good fats and are great for hair, skin and nails.
You will need
1 large bar of your favourite dark chocolate
1 bag of hazelnuts
1 double boiler pot
Simply break your bar of dark chocolate into small pieces and then place it into the top pot of a double boiler.
Now fill the bottom half of the double boiler with water. Bring the water to a simmer and then place the top half over the simmering water, all the while ensuring the water doesn't splash into the chocolate.
Stir the chocolate with a wooden spoon. Place the hazelnuts into a bowl and pour over your melted chocolate to serve.