11th March 2022 Kildare walkers and runners get a spring in their step
With even the smallest sustainable increases and changes to our body movement each day recognised as having considerable health benefits both physically and mentally, the success of a recent HSE led Co Kildare initiative benefitted all involved.
Including a number of organisations with responsibility for health promotion and improvement in Kildare, a series of three walking events were held highlighting the importance of physical activity for positive ageing and maintaining good health and we get older.
The HSE Health Promotion Team working with Healthy Ireland, Older Voice Kildare, Kildare County Council, Kildare Sports Partnership, Kildare Library Services, County Kildare LEADER Partnership planned and promoted the health related benefits of walking and show how walking in your community can be both fun and social.
Entitled “Spring In Your Step”, the three walks took place on February 26th. Working with the well-established local parkrun groups they held the walking events in Celbridge, Naas and Kilcock.
Everyone involved wore green on the day to further emphasise the sustainability theme.
Older person's groups were supported with free transport to and from the event and pedometers were provided some groups a few weeks in advance to help participants prepare for the walk. The key aim was to encourage people to move more, have fun and combine the positive effects of physical activity with social connectedness. Underpinning the inclusive nature of the event, older people with physical and intellectual disabilities were supported to take part, with the courses easily accessible featuring assistance from blind support runners and walkers.
The HSE is a funding partner of parkrun, who have develop a network across Ireland of volunteer-led weekly free 5k events where people can walk, jog or run in a safe, supported and positive environment.
The community and fun aspects are well captured in footage and still photos from the events.