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Getting active

ACCORDING to Get Ireland Active, which promotes physical activity in Ireland, being physically active is one of the most important steps people of all ages can take to improve their health.

However, it says much of the Irish population is not sufficiently active to reap the health gain of physical activity.

The National Physical Activity Guidelines for Ireland state that all children and young people should be active, at a moderate to vigorous level, for at least 60 minutes every day, and muscle-strengthening, flexibility and bone-strengthening exercises should be included three times a week.

Moderate to vigorous activity includes everything from sport, physical education ( PE) and formal exercise to active play and other physically demanding activities such as dancing, swimming or skateboarding.

It also includes everyday activities such as walking and cycling.

But a word of warning - children who are not active should start off slowly before building up an extra 15-30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity one to two days a week.

Once they reach this, they should aim for 30 minutes of activity on most days of the week, for example progressing from 30 minutes on two to three days a week to 30 minutes on three to four days a week.

In order to become more active for longer they should include some days with 60 minutes or more and choose more vigorous activity.

As they progress, they will get closer to the goal of 60 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day.

Mother & Babies