There are two clear tribes forming as the pandemic rumbles on. If you're like my other half, who is currently bereft that he hasn't been able to run in three whole days due to an injured ankle, you're in Tribe 1.
Walking has long been Ireland's most popular form of leisure time activity, but lockdown has seen even more of us take to the pavements. New research from Sports Ireland shows that while the number of people participating in other sports has fallen, those walking regularly has soared from 65pc pre-lockdown to 78pc since restrictions started.
Perhaps even more important is the impact of exercise on our mental health, and how it has the power to transform mood from listless and lethargic to relaxed and focused. "The positive impact of exercise is long established," says clinical health psychologist Dr Vincent McDarby, a member of the Psychological Society of Ireland. "It works on stress, anxiety and depression. It helps us relax, and improves self-confidence immediately, because the moment we start exercising, we view ourselves as healthier."
I am sure a lot of you are struggling without the gym but I can assure you that you can get an excellent workout at home. Some of our most well-known clients use virtual personal training with us, just using bodyweight, as it can be so effective.
I hope you are all doing well this week and starting to build on your training programme by mixing up each week. So many people have asked me what kit I have at home, and although we own our own gym, we have limited but effective equipment at home.
A lot has changed in the three months since I pledged to give my overall health an overhaul. This health journey now pales into insignificance compared to the global health journey we have all been on with Covid-19, but as health and wellness take centre stage, our ability to fortify our own is perhaps more pertinent than ever. So, a reminder about my premise: my intention was to consistently follow advice on health and wellness to see how it felt to operate at optimum. As presenter of Newstalk's health and wellness show, Alive and Kicking, I have met some incredible minds, and managed to convince some of them to work with me over six months.
Hopefully by this week everyone will be working on getting their entire household doing some exercise on a daily basis. Whether that is getting out for walks, games in the garden with kids or these short home workouts, remember that staying active has so many benefits for the entire family which will help you feel better, have more energy and not feel so fatigued.
Surveys investigating Irish people's New Year's resolutions consistently rank "to exercise more" as one of the top three pledges made. This is great news because exercise is medicine and, according to the American College of Sports Medicine, adults should aim to achieve at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
Happy January 19 - or as I like to think of it now, day 19 of 100 days of walking. I started 100 days of walking in January 2018 - so it's on its third outing and, to be honest, I never expected that what started out as a half-formed plan while lying on my couch - feeling sluggish after my twelfth mince pie - would end up being a thing thousands of people around the country are doing on the highways and byways of Ireland.
Two mystical phenomena mark January. At their worst, both new year horoscopes and fad diets can exemplify a grubby exploitation of the hopeless and vulnerable with the same propensity to spin tiny truths into fool's gold. One offers sweeping predictions of change without regard to science. The other is astrology.
And in the blink of an eye, another year has gone and maybe you made another lot of non-achievable New Year's resolutions - but I assure you that 2020 can actually be different and you can finally find a balance. That means enjoying your training, fitting it into your busy lifestyle and finally getting the body shape and fitness level you have wanted for so long.
If someone asked you "why is running good for you?" you would probably reply it is good for your health. Which is correct. But when most people talk about the health benefits of running they are referring to the physical health benefits. But running is so much more than that. Running also offers many mental health benefits, something less widely known or discussed as the physical health benefits.
On certain vantage points, it might look as though we are 'winning' the 'girls in sport' issue. Recently, a record crowd of 6,137 turned out to watch the Irish women's hockey team beat Canada. A few days later in the UK, record numbers piled into Wembley to watch England's women's football team play Germany, building nicely on the 11.7 million who watched the Women's World Cup semi-final against USA. In September, the 2019 All-Ireland Ladies Football final saw an attendance of over 56,000 - up 5,000 on 2018.
Christmas is just around the corner and the party season is in full swing, but have you been over-indulging and enjoying yourself a bit too much? Have you been hit with the dreaded hangover yet or perhaps not looking forward to it happening?
Warren Smith is many things; pro skier, celebrity ski coach, entrepreneur, charity patron. He's a ski instructor to the stars - counting model Claudia Schiffer, James Blunt, Ronan Keating, Vogue Williams and rugby player Gareth Thomas amongst his clients.
Between Black Friday and the Toy Show, present buying for Christmas is first and foremost on a lot of people’s minds, and on this week’s Real Health, I thought, why not ask two of Ireland’s leading personal trainers what their wish list for Christmas would be?
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