THE fight against heart disease was taken to the countryside around Castleconnell in Co Limerick yesterday when an Irish Heart Foundation Slí na Sláinte (Path to Health) walking route was launched.
Comedy actor Pat Shortt, who lives in Castleconnell, was one of the first to take to the trail.
He said: “It’s a great idea and the routes are along very picturesque stretches by the Shannon.”
Designed to encourage people to get active, the Slí consists of walking routes marked out at 1km intervals to help walkers identify the distance they walk.
The health initiative is supported by County Limerick Sports Partnership, Limerick County Council and the Irish Sports Council.
The Castleconnell Slí na Sláinte route is 3.8km in length and suitable for all levels of walkers.
Edel Byrne of the Irish Heart Foundation said: “We hope the community of Castleconnell will get great enjoyment and benefit from the new Slí na Sláinte route.
“Getting active makes such a big difference to your heart and overall health, helping to reduce stress, ease back pain and reduce the risk of heart disease. Adults need at least 30 minutes of physical activity, such as brisk walking, five days a week. By having a clearly marked and safe walking route, we aim to make it easier for people in Castleconnell to get active as part of their normal day.”
Councillor Richard Butler, cathaoirleach of Limerick County Council, said Slí na Sláinte is a simple, innovative scheme.
“It has been developed to encourage people of all ages and abilities to walk for leisure and good health. It is vitally important every effort is made to encourage people to participate in physical activity,” he said.
Bernadette Cullen, chairwoman of the County Limerick Local Sports Partnership, said they are delighted to work with the Irish Heart Foundation on the project.
She said: “The County Limerick Local Sports Partnership is committed to implementing the action plans set out under the first Strategic Plan for the Development of Sport in County Limerick 2008-2011.
“One of the strategy’s many objectives is to increase physical activity throughout Co Limerick. The development of this Slí na Sláinte route shares this objective and will help in the continued development of physical activity opportunities for members of the local community in Castleconnell and surrounding areas”.
* The launch of the new route coincides with the Irish Heart Foundation’s heart month.
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