THE HEALTHY Town initative which is running in Kilkenny for the next eight weeks has plenty in it’s programme to get you motivated.
Having run a marathon earlier this year I found I had lost my mojo in recent months and early morning runs and proper nutrition were being replaced with promissory notes to self to get back into a serious fitness regime as I sank deeper into the couch.
The hiatus was over and my will to get back into shape nicely coincided with the Healthy Town initiative. First things first and I wanted to see what shape I was actually in. Free health checks were offered as part of the programme with health advisors on hand to offer direction to those who wanted it. Firstly I got my blood pressure checked and thankfully it was normal. Next up was the dreaded body mass index where not only are your height and weight is revealed to you but also the fat content in your body. I was surprised by this - I was for the first time in a long time in the category considered to be ‘normal’ by the professionals. Saying that I was on the tip top edge of the normal side and hanging in there for dear life with the overweight zone looming in front of me.
I decided there and then that this is not where I want to be. Having lost some weight before the marathon in May it had crept back up - slowly and steathily. What I realised in training for the marathon was how great it feels to be healthy and to push your body hard and I want to regain that feeling. The final part of the health check was a cholestrol test and again although this was below five and considered safe it had still increased significantly since I last got it tested in 2009. So my aim for the next eight weeks is to get my cholestrol down, improve my diet and to excercise more. Seamus Nugent, who is studying Exerciser and Health at Waterford Institute of Technology was on hand to share his wealth of knowledge and pointed out simple solutions to reducing my weight and cholestrol - cutting out butter and salt - both of which were familiar faces on my kitchen table.
The Healthy Town initiative has a varied and exciting programme of events listed for the next eight weeks. Every Monday evening at 7pm at the Canal Square there are free guided walks around the city with a walking leader. The aim of last week was to Get Moving and as part of the initiative there were a number of free classes available at The Watershed. Another free event for those signed up to Healthy Towns was the Meet & Train Group, a group of women who meet every Wednesday at 10am and Fridays at 9.30am. Normally there is a €2 fee but this was waived for participants in the Healthy Town initiative.
Caitriona Corr of Kilkenny Recreation & Sports Partnership added that there was also a great social element. An extra ten people showed up at the group last week because of the Healthy Town initiative. “It’s great for people who want to start jogging. Some people just want to do a little bit and others will end up training for marathons and half marathons. It’s a fantastic way to get out and get started.” she said.
This week the programme focuses on healthy eating. On Thursday and Friday there will be advice from nutritionists while you shop in Super Valu in Loughboy. For a full programme of events see www.krsp.ie