What’s this all about?
Healthy Town is a unique collaboration between the Irish Times and Pfizer Healthcare designed to harness community spirit and expert knowledge to show you how simple steps can lead to better health and wellbeing.
Wicklow has been chosen this year because not alone is it a progressive, forward-thinking town in one of Ireland’s most beautiful counties, but it has a very strong community spirit and great facilities, including sporting facilities.
Over the next ten weeks, Wicklow will be the focus of a series of events focusing on mental and physical health and general wellbeing. Those involved in the programme include Leinster rugby captain and Ireland international Leo Cullen who has agreed to be a sporting ambassador for the project and celebrity chef Catherine Fulvio who will be giving a demonstration on healthy cooking.
Also sharing their insights and wisdom will be Dr Tony Bates, a leading expert in mental health and mindfulness as well as an Irish Times columnist. Padraig O Morain, That’s men columnist with Health + Family.
Monina Mooney, a Wicklow native and mother of four, will write a regular blog, sharing her experiences outlining her success or otherwise, in adapting some of the advice etc contained in the programme
It is not about losing lots of weight or introducing a military style health regime to your life that probably would not be sustainable in the long term. It is about making simple adjustments to your lifestyle.
But it is also about community involvement. Already several local individuals and organisations, including sports clubs, have signed up to provide free activities to encourage people to consider taking up a sport - whether to get fit or for the simple enjoyment of it.
The Irish Heart Foundation will be conducting free health checks for various groups and several public ones as well, where anyone can come along and get their cholesterol, blood pressure etc checked out over the next eight weeks.
This website will also feature informative articles and videos: an eight-week programme, designed to help you reach a level of fitness, has been drawn up by the Irish Institute of Sport, which trains high performance athletes. The exercises are demonstrated by Irish Olympian boxer and schoolteacher Darren O’Neill and were devised by the institute’s high performance unit.
There is also video by Aidan Woods of Pearse Street Physiotherapy Clinic in Dublin, who worked with Ireland’s Olympic squad in London last year. He will show you how to exercise without straining your muscles and how to avoid injury.
Health + Family, The Irish Times weekly health supplement on Tuesdays will be carrying articles on events each week.
There is also a Facebook page where you are invited to leave your own comments on the project or your own tips for a healthy life.
Now its over to you….