Members of the St Johnston Men on the Move pictured on a visit to Cavan Museum last year
The highly popular Men on the Move Programme will be relaunched in seven locations across Donegal over the coming weeks.
The Men on the Move Programme was first piloted in Donegal in 2013 by Donegal Sports Partnership (DSP) and has been hugely successful in every area it has been rolled out in since.
Men on the Move is a community-based physical activity programme that targets men over the age of 35 and aims to enhance their physical and mental wellbeing.
The programme is a partnership between DSP and HSE. It was developed to target the large population of sedentary men in Ireland and increase their awareness and understanding around the importance of physical activity, and the subsequent positive impact this has on their overall health. Workshops on nutritional health and mental well-being are an essential part of this. Led by a local physical activity coordinator over 12 weeks, the sessions focus typically on enhancing aerobic fitness, strength, mobility and flexibility with a health check at the beginning and the end of programme.
Looking ahead to the relaunch of the programme, Karen Guthrie, Community Sports Development Officer with DSP, said: “With the programme being community-based, it has given us a great way of engaging with men that might be otherwise isolated.
“We have often said communities know their people better than we do, and men tend to respond better to someone they know approaching them - that relationship has been key,” she added
“Once their functional fitness improves it has a knock-on affect on their self-confidence, self-esteem, their mood and their ability to tackle day to day living.
“We often heard stories of men that are getting their work done in half the time now, especially manual labour professions such as farming or trades work.
“Their energy levels have improved, their sleep patterns are better and when all those elements are looked after, their every day life becomes easier.
“You couldn't underestimate the impact this programme has on men's mental wellbeing - both go hand in hand.
“The idea from our perspective was to create a fun, enjoyable environment where there is no pressure, no competition and men can experience that sense of belonging within their own community.
“They subsequently see the benefits are far-reaching than just an improvement in their waist size or BMI.”
For more information about the new Men on the Move Programme in Donegal, contact the Donegal Sports Partnership Office on 074 9116708/9116709.
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