Wicklow seniors called up to take part in Ireland’s first fitness challenge for older people

Wicklow seniors are being called on to join Ireland’s first-ever dedicated fitness challenge for older people which launched today.

Led and facilitated by Siel Bleu Ireland, a not-for-profit social enterprise which provides life-enhancing exercise programmes to older people across the country, the ’30 Days to Better Ways’ campaign was launched with assistance from GAA legend and Gaelic football pundit, Pat Spillane.

The 30-day online challenge, which runs from June 1st-30th, encourages older people in Wicklow to see the difference 30 days of regular exercise and activity can make to their physical and mental wellbeing. Unlike most fitness challenges where weight loss and muscle gain are the main goals, Siel Bleu Ireland wants to focus on personal health achievements with better mobility in performing everyday tasks, being able to walk better for longer and being able to play with grandchildren being some of the individual goals the ’30 Days to Better Ways’ campaign seeks to help participants achieve.

Informed by the World Health Organisation’s recommendation of 150 minutes of physical activity a week for older people, Siel Bleu Ireland’s ’30 Days to Better Ways campaign involves participants simply signing up for the 30-day free trial where they will have access to the social enterprise’s wide range of exercise classes from mobility to strength and conditioning, offered through the Siel Bleu at Home online programme.

Launched in 2020 following the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Siel Bleu at Home programme is now an important part of the Siel Bleu Ireland offering, with 11 exercise classes a week, allowing members to exercise safely and comfortably from their own homes. Combined with the return of in-person classes, Siel Bleu delivers exercise classes to over 6,000 people every week.

GAA legend, Pat Spillane, was on hand to help launch the campaign. Following a successful career in Gaelic football, where he won eight All-Ireland championships with his home county, Kerry, Pat launched an equally successful media career, appearing on television screens across the country every weekend on The Sunday Game. Speaking at the launch of ’30 Days to Better Ways’, Pat said: “I’m delighted to be part of this fantastic campaign dedicated to promoting older people’s health and fitness. The past few years have shown us the importance of looking after ourselves as we get older and it’s something that we can no longer put off or ignore. It’s encouraging to see an organisation like Siel Bleu Ireland shine a spotlight and launch Ireland’s first fitness campaign for older people. There’s a lot of life left in us yet, and 30 days is the perfect roadmap to a new chapter!”

Commenting on the launch, Thomas McCabe, National Manager of Siel Bleu Ireland, said: “We are delighted to launch Ireland’s first-ever dedicated fitness challenge for older people. The health and fitness of our ageing population have never been more important, and we are proud to highlight this important issue. We have seen the difference regular exercise can make in the lives of our members, from being able to go up and down a flight of stairs with no issues, to being able to live in their own homes independently for longer to even being able to walk their daughter down the aisle. We want every older person in Wicklow to experience the same achievements and encourage everyone to take part in this 30-day challenge and see the difference it can make to your life.”

Participants of the ’30 Days to Better Way’ challenge will also be treated to Ireland’s first wellness event dedicated to older people. Taking place on June 13th, members will enjoy talks from leading health specialists on the importance of active ageing, exercise sessions from Siel Bleu Ireland’s highly qualified trainers, and a guest talk from campaign spokesperson, Pat Spillane.

Siel Bleu Ireland is currently running the “30 Days for Better Ways” campaign to raise awareness of social enterprises in Ireland under the ARISE Social Enterprise Awareness raising initiative from the Department of Rural & Community Development.

To register for the ’30 Days to Better Ways’ challenge and more information, please visit www.sielbleu.ie.

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