Why get active?

There's strong evidence that people who are active have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, depression and dementia. If you want to stay pain-free, reduce your risk of mental illness, and be able to go out and stay independent well into old age, you are advised to keep moving. It’s that simple.

Older Adults

10 Health Benefits 

Physical activity helps you to…

    1. Add years to your life
    2. Improve quality of your life
    3. Maintain healthy weight
    4. Manage stress
    5. Improve quality of sleep
    6. Reduce your risk of falls
    7. Maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints
    8. Improve your balance and coordination 
    9. Continue to live independently
    10. Feel great!

Places to get active

Research shows that it’s never too late to adopt and reap the health benefits from a more active lifestyle. The next step is to find out where you can go to get active. Search the Places to Get Active tool to find out what is near you.

What do I need to do?

Did you know that most people aged over 65 years in Ireland are inactive. This might change when word gets out that keeping active into older age is the key to staying fit, mobile and independent. We've put together a simple guide to getting moving for people over 65 years. Remember, It’s never too late: everyone of every age can benefit from being active.

Tips to get active

It's true that sometimes, we all need a little motivation to get active. Especially if it's raining, a bit chilly and you've had a long day. To inspire you to swap the couch for the great outdoors, we’ve found put together our top tips to get you moving and breathing in that fresh Irish air. Physical activity is anything that gets your body moving.

How to get active

Here are some simple suggestions to help you get active.


‘I pretty much spent my whole adult life in a car, in a chair at the office, or on a couch – being active was for other, more energetic and possibly slightly annoying people.  I was also very overweight, so even the thought of trying to get into any sort of stretchy clothing and move around in front of people was pretty scary - and even to my slight shame I really never did anything much to get out and run around with my son when he was small.  In my mid 30s I sort of got it together weightwise, and on the advice of the Weight Watchers lady, I just started to walk 30 minutes a day.  It sounds very little – but it was amazing how much of a difference it made to how I felt, and how much it helped me to lose weight. It’s hard to explain how starting to be even a little bit active changes you very quickly, even though it’s really hard at the beginning, and you often have to force yourself – really force yourself!  It’s hard when even the little bit you are doing makes you break out in a sweat. It’s hard when you make the HUGE mistake of comparing yourself to others. It’s very hard if you, like I did, spend too much time telling yourself that you’re ‘very unfit’ and ‘this isn’t making any difference’.  But then - your body makes progress remarkably fast – because I think really, deep down, our bodies want to move. We are born wriggly, and you can’t stop most little kids from running around.  Despite having sat on the sidelines for pretty much all my life, feeling pretty awful about how I looked and how unfit I was, just walking for 30 minutes a day changed how I feel forever. I am now very proud of being a pretty active person – even though I am still not a skinny one! I now cycle to work and home again every day, so the exercise doubles as transport, it’s a feeling of freedom from traffic, from stale air in the car – I get to see the city close up, I feel clearer headed, and it also makes a huge difference to my mood and how I react to the normal ups and down of the week. I still don’t look great in stretchy clothes but nothing dents the happiness and even confidence you can create from minding yourself and letting your body do what it wants – deep, deep down underneath the sofa cushions.’

Fidelma, Limerick.