Exercising your options

By Frank Bolger - Last update

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The steady stream of people walking, jogging, or cycling past our office on Dublin’s North Wall Quay reminds us that exercise has become an integral part of many people’s lives. The fact that over fourteen thousand people are expected to participate in the Dublin City Marathon this Monday is further testimony to this.

Wanting to shift a few pounds may be incentive enough for many of us, but the benefits of taking exercise are far in excess of this. According to a research paper commissioned by the Irish Sports Council, undergoing some kind of moderate physical activity for 30 minutes a day, five days a week can help to: prevent or control Type 2 Diabetes; reduce the risk of coronary heart disease (by as much as 50%) and cancer; boost one’s immune system and energy levels; and help combat depression. In addition to these considerable virtues, the findings of the report (‘Economic Impact of Sport’) also show that exercise not only enhances our individual wellbeing, but it helps that of our economy too: sports-related spending amounts to approximately 1.4% (or 1.8 billion euro) of our GDP, while sports-related activities account for 2% of total employment in Ireland.

For those of you interested in improving, or even fine-tuning, your performance levels, there are numerous evening and part-time courses to choose from, such as classes in Nutrition and Diet, Keeping Fit, Pilates, Yoga, Aerobics, and Circuit Training. Alternately, if you feel you’d rather help train others instead, you might consider undergoing a course in Fitness Instruction or Sports Psychology. And in case you needed an additional reason for taking sports-related class, there is also the social aspect, which – according to the Sports Council – remains a ‘key generator’ of social inclusion and active citizenship. And perhaps we could add here our own plus point to the Council’s official report: the element of fun!

PS. On a final sporting note, there was sad news from the boxing world earlier when it was announced that legendary trainer Emanuel Steward passed away. Steward trained over forty world champions in the course of his career, including the mighty Thomas ‘The Hitman’ Hearns and former heavyweight champ Lennox Lewis. He was also the trainer of Irish middleweight contender Andy Lee, and current heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko.

Frank Bolger

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