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Irish Independent - Health & Living - - SMALL STEPS -

BREAK IT UP GET (OR

BOR­ROW) A DOG

“I would call a dog a great per­sonal trainer,” says the HSE’s Colm Casey.“You come home in the evening, a dog has got a lead in it’s mouth look­ing at you. You feel guilty be­cause the dog hasn’t been walked. It doesn’t mat­ter whether it’s15 min­utes or five min­utes, what­ever — they’ll love you for it and you’re get­ting your ex­er­cise. What amazes me now is the amount of peo­ple who have dogs and em­ploy dog walk­ers to do the walk­ing for them. And could be go­ing to a per­sonal trainer them­selves that evening. That’s a free

per­sonal trainer!” “You can build up to 30 min­utes or more a day by be­ing ac­tive for 10 min­utes at a time,” says Ja­son King from Get Ire­land Walk­ing. “10,000 steps gen­er­ally equates to roughly 8km. You would be sur­prised how quickly one can at­tain this by in­tro­duc­ing short con­scious walks into our day.” I don’t think it’s nec­es­sary for peo­ple to be­lieve that they have to go off and do some sort of crazy in­sane high-in­ten­sity work­out that they read about in a magazine some­where to see re­sults,” ex­plains Oisin McCabe. Get your­self set up “with a sim­ple rou­tine you can stick to, and be con­sis­tent with that. It may even feel easy when you do it ini­tially,” he says. “But then over time at your own pace, you can try to in­crease the in­ten­sity bit by bit. Or you can get a coach, who can slowly start to progress the in­ten­sity, in­crease the calo­rie burn, so that as you make progress they don’t stall.”

Top tips: Let the dog be your per­sonal trainer; (far left) find your tribe of like-minded ex­er­cise bud­dies

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