Limerick Slow Walking Club commenced its activities on Sunday June 19th with plenty of interest in this new form of exercise in the city. The aim of the slow walking club is to provide a social and healthy way for people to meet up exercise and get to know each other in the city.
The club was founded by Tristan Magedera, a recently qualified doctor working in Limerick city who was struck by the need for a more sedate form of exercise to combat obesity and the onset of osteoporosis for city residents.
Magedera says, ” Given that the world health organisation says – in their 2015 european health report – that 59% of europeans are either overweight or obese which according to them is: is “alarmingly high”. And given that the third leading reason for a poor quality of life is depression and the first reason for poor quality of life is problems with the heart and the blood vessels leading to and from it: I see no better reason to get people out and started on some kind of exercise or movement programme!
See if you are overweight or obese, you are odds on for developing problems with your heart or blood vessels. Exercise, even if moderate, helps to lower blood pressure which improves the health of blood vessels, it helps to make your blood less fatty, helps improve your mood, and helps control or loose weight. That is the rule of thumb. Exercise may not help everyone, but slow walking is a good place to start for many people with low fitness, or people lacking in confidence.”
The group meets at different times on Sunday mornings in Arthur’s Quay Park . The founder says the focus of the group is not weight loss, but getting moving and socialising. Another benefit of moving is to combat osteoporosis.
The team behind the initiative would like to see the group slowly expand to other cities and towns. The aim is that the group should include Parents, who can accompany their children. And groups of friends as well as adults on their own. People walking their dogs should be included too.
All new people must sign an exercise disclaimer, before they go slow walking with the group. The leaders of the group don’t have to have any particular qualifications in personal fitness but rather are members of the public interested in motivating people to join the group. The main rule is be safe, have fun, and go at the pace of the slowest walker so that all start and finish as a group.