Top 10 tips to get children active
  • Get active yourself: children learn through example and are five times more likely to be active if their parents are.
  • Limit screen time: limiting screen time allows more time for physical activity. There is a link between number of hours spent in sedentary screen time and the risk of obesity in children.
  • Plan to be active, there are 1,440 minutes in a day so see where children can use at least 60 of them for activity. Remember you don't have to do it all at once even 10 minutes at a time counts. After-school activities are a great way for kids to be more active.
  • Make it family time: enjoy a laugh and a chat while going for a walk, cycle or swim. 

    family walking dog on beach familycycling Boy skateboard 

  • Play active games with your children: Ball games, rhyming games, skipping, running games, fun games - they will enjoy them as much as you did!
  • Let your children earn their pocket money: by doing active chores, such as hoovering, raking up leaves and washing the car.
  • Walk or cycle to school, or at least some of the way, where possible. Suggest that the school try for the Active School Flag. See activeschoolflag.ie for more information.
  • Get a rain coat and wellies: don't use the weather as an excuse, make sure you and your child are prepared for rain!
  • Adapt the activity: if your child has a movement or sensory difficulty. For further information, contact your local sports partnership sports inclusion disability officer or the CARA National Adapted Physical Activity Centre
  • Give the gift of activity: buy gifts that encourage activity such as skipping ropes, rackets, hula-hoops and balls. 

Hopscotch Dad wheelchair boy

Top 10 tips to get young adults active
  1. Some activity is better than none: if you are a complete beginner aim for 10 minutes of activity to start with. When you are managing this well increase your distance or time building up to at least 60 minutes every day.
  2. Limit screen time: if you like playing computer games, choose active games over sedentary games.
  3. Keep a record: keep an activity diary, seeing your progress written down is encouraging and can help you stay motivated. Click here for activity diary that you can use.
  4. Be active with friends: it’s easier to be active if you have made a commitment to meet someone for a walk or a swim.
  5. Plan active breaks: go for a walk, swim or jog during your day as part of lunch break or study break. It will help increase your energy levels and concentration
  6. Set yourself a goal or challenge: there are lots of events and activities - happening in your area that you can set as a goal or target –check out the facilities page.
  7. Variety: try different activities. Check out the facilities page to see what options are available in your area.
  8. Active transport: walk or cycle to your destination, or at least some of the way, it is a great way to get active every day. During school or college move as much as possible and always take the stairs.
  9. Join a club or team: find out what clubs and activities there are in your local community. Why not have a look on the facilities page to see what's available in your area.
  10. Adapt: if you have a movement or sensory difficulty you can adapt the activity. For further information contact your local sports partnership sports inclusion disability officer or the CARA National Adapted Physical Activity Centre.

  Dad and son football teenagers running children football team

From a very young age I played competitive sports including Gaelic football, soccer, athletics, badminton, basically anything that was on in my local town of Foxford. When I was in my teens I was lucky enough to have played for mayo on the ladies Gaelic team. I started on the U14s and U16s, then Minor and Senior. The dedication and motivation that was needed was something else. I was playing for a few teams at the same time and kept this going for a few years. Although I loved the sport especially the team element I fatigued and found myself not having the same grá for it that I did when I started. With a heavy heart I gave up playing at that level. So here I am now aged 30. I have tried many different hobbies, from joining a gym, to a game or two of tag rugby to light jogging around my local area but never kept any up consistently. Until this summer when I joined bootcamp in Templeogue. It is the first time since my teens that I go to exercise because I want to and not because I have to. It took me a while to find an exercise that works for me but now I have, I love going every week. I love the mix of jogging, to hard-core exercises, the trainer pushing you to push yourself, to the chats with a new face each week. I find its a great way to de-stress, feel good with the added benefit of a great night sleep afterwards. 

Roisin, Co. Mayo