Getting fit and fighting the flab in County Mayo

Posted in Connect on February 5, 2018.

Ireland has the second-highest obesity rate in Europe, according to a recent study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. This alarming news comes on top of further evidence that as many as one in three adults over 40 years of age in Co Mayo are obese, according to a 2011 report by Croí, the West of Ireland Cardiac Foundation and HSE West. Almost half of those surveyed in the study were overweight. With obesity comes the associated health risks like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers and osteoarthritis to name but a few.

This means that keeping fit and healthy is more important than ever. But contrary to popular opinion, you do not have to join an expensive gym that does not fit in with your lifestyle or your finances. Instead, you can exercise at home just as effectively as any gym. Or, you can opt for exercise outdoors, and the capital of adventure that is County Mayo certainly offers plenty of outdoor exercise activities.

Indoor Exercise

There may be good reasons why you opt to exercise at home, like family or work commitments. The good news is that there are a wide range of exercises that you can do in the comfort of your home, at a time that suits you. Simple but effective exercise routines that include: sit-ups or crunches; press-ups; lateral limb raises; bent knee push-ups; front plank raises; side plank raises; squat jumps; forward lunges; glute bridge; and, steps. The list is extensive and can be combined into an effective routine. You can increase intensity by adding weights and increasing the number of repetitions. You may consider using fitness equipment that provides a total body workout. These machines are magnificent at providing total body tone as they work your core muscle groups like chest, abs, shoulders, back and quads.

Outdoor Exercise

If your thing is outdoor exercise, there are few more beautiful places to pursue this than County Mayo. The so called “capital of adventure” offers plenty for outdoor activities. You are literally spoilt for choice in County Mayo. From gentle walks like Belleek Walk to more demanding rambles like Carrowteige loop; you may consider investing in a suitable bicycle to enjoy one of the mainy cycle routes available such as the Great Western Greenway; water may be your attraction and Mayo offers excellent kayak opportunities at Clew Bay; and swimming from some of Ireland’s coveted blue flag beaches like Keem Bay or Clare Island.

County Mayo may have one of the worse obesity rates in Europe but, the opportunities to improve fitness levels are most certainly there. You do not have to use a gym to attain this fitness. Indoor or Outdoors, the choice is yours but, either can lead to a fitter and healthier lifestyle.

Jane Rogers – Freelance Writer

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