AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

2323098 Outdoor Activities health 300x231 Outdoor Activities In Ireland Benefit Family HealthAdults are advised to take 30 minutes of physical activity daily, while children should aim for closer to an hour each day. However, less than half of us achieve these. Finding enjoyable activities which we can take part of as a family during the week and when we are on holiday can help us to significantly increase our physical activity levels. Ireland offers a wide range of opportunities for family activities thanks to its vast open spaces and beautiful scenery. Many of these activities are free or have only a small cost attached to them and whether you prefer activities on dry land or in the water you will find one to suit your family’s needs. Here we look at three outdoor activities a family visiting Ireland can enjoy.

Orienteering at Avondale Forest Park

Located near Rathdrum in County Wicklow and an hour’s drive south of Dublin is Avondale Forest Park. There are six marked walking trails in the park, along with a picnic area and playground making it popular with families keen to enjoy the outdoors for a few hours. However, one of its main attractions is the permanent orienteering courses that it hosts; there are three to select from of varying difficulty. The short course is an ideal introduction for families to this outdoor pursuit and offers a more adventurous avenue than simply going for a walk. For anyone unfamiliar with orienteering, it involves the navigation between set control points in sequence with the help of a map; while it is often run, with individuals competing against each other, it can equally be enjoyed at a more leisurely pace and as a group. Features around you correspond to symbols on the map and can help you to get your bearings so that you can locate the control points; each has a code, which is noted down. The routes and answer sheets are available to download online. Brisk walking is great all round activity, benefiting the heart and lungs, increasing the strength of muscles and bones and helping to maintain a healthy body weight.

Horse riding in County Kerry

Burke’s Horse Trekking Centre near Tralee is situated on the coast and is the perfect option for a family horseback trek along the seven mile Rossbeigh Beach; trails are also available through the nearby hills. Whichever route your guide takes you along, the scenery will be breathtaking. All abilities of riders are catered for, so it doesn’t matter whether none of you has ever been in the saddle; even toddlers can be catered for with pony rides around the farm. More experienced riders can look forward to galloping along the beach. With the option to take a one, two or three hour treks available, it allows you to fit a ride in no matter how much time you have available. Treks take place all year round and run rain or shine. Many people don’t realise the health benefits of horse riding, which helps to improve heart and lung function, tones muscles and aids balance; it also boosts mood and enhances our sense of wellbeing.

Kayak in County Clare

Families can learn to kayak at Nevsail Watersports in Kilkee between January and November. Within half a day you can learn the basics, which will allow you under the supervision of an instructor to explore the nearby coastline with its secluded coves, with the possibility of seeing seals. The kayaks they use are self-bailing, which makes them entirely safe for even complete beginners; though it is still important to take out travel cover before your holiday to ensure you are insured for any unforeseen accidents during activities. Kayaking helps to tone the muscles of the upper body and is great for increasing the strength of the arm muscles, which many forms of exercise neglect. You can also burn up to 400Kcal per hour so it helps to prevent weight gain. Kayaking also helps to maintain good mental health thanks to the time spent outdoors and its relaxing nature.

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About the author: Betty writes health articles for a number of UK advice portals.


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