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Losing the Covid stone – ‘I walk five kilometres, five times a week and I am just a couple of pounds away’

The pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have disrupted our daily routines, with many of us losing out on incidental exercise. Co Mayo mum Mary McHugh is coming to the end of her journey to lose the 14lbs that she gained and she shares the secret to her success

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Mary McHugh walking near her home in Kilmaine, Co Mayo. Photo: Keith Heneghan

Mary McHugh walking near her home in Kilmaine, Co Mayo. Photo: Keith Heneghan

Mary McHugh walking near her home in Kilmaine, Co Mayo. Photo: Keith Heneghan

Did we ever imagine we could miss the commute? Being rammed onto a bus seat in a stuffy top deck or spending an hour getting intimate with a stranger’s armpit aren’t likely candidates for nostalgia.

However, we are discovering the full cost of extended working from home. It is increasingly problematic that we can no longer just switch off from our jobs — work lurks on laptops in kitchens and mobile phones are on nightstands at all hours of the evening. We are also missing out on the vital, almost accidental, exercise we were getting on our way to work, while at work and coming home from work.

That exercise can add up to a difference of up to a stone, depending on the length of your normal journey. A 2015 study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health examined the relationship between “active commuting”, defined as walking, cycling or taking public transport, and BMI (body mass index).


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